Stephen Grunewald of Urban Engineering said the tests showed that the water from the well drilled into the Evangeline Aquifer would meet Texas Commission on Environmental Quality standards for drinking water, without expensive treatment.
The numbers of chlorides, total dissolved solids and iron all were within the limits set by the state agency.
He said that the well could produce up to 400 to 425 gallons per minute through an eight-inch pipe. Currently, the well produces about 350 gallons of water per minute.
“The well is producing more than predicted and better quality than expected,” Grunewald told council members.
The engineer recommended that the city go ahead with plans to install a permanent pump into the well and have American Electric Power connect power to the pump.
The projected costs of completing the well would be about $20,596, Grunewald said. That is less then the $29,000 the city had budgeted for the project.
The well, which was drilled on the west side of the park, will provide water for the pond at the John C. Beasley Golf Course, and the water will then be used to irrigate the grounds of the city’s athletic facilities within the park.
Grunewald reminded the council that if it decides to drill additional wells into the Evangeline to supplement the city’s water supplies, the council can expect to see water from the wells meet the same standards for purity and flow.
The engineer reminded council members that wells drilled to supplement the city’s potable water system would cost more to drill and to equip because they would need to be larger and capable of providing more water than an irrigation well.
Grunewald said his company could provide a proposal outlining the costs of completing such a well.
City Water Superintendant Cesario Vela said his crews could install a pipeline running from the irrigation well to the pond at the golf course.
Councilman George P. “Trace” Morrill reminded Vela that a pipeline company is expected to install a line through the golf course in the near future, and he wanted Vela to prepare a report of how that would affect the installation of an irrigation line.
Mayor David Carabajal said he would like see how much it would cost the city to drill additional wells in the same aquifer in different locations around the city and use that water to replace some of what is now being pumped from Lake Corpus Christi.
Carabajal has proposed using fresh water wells to reduce the amount of money that the city currently pays the City of Corpus Christi and then bank the savings, allowing the city to possibly have a reverse osmosis plant built in the future that could be used to treat water from the deeper, but saltier, Jasper aquifer.
That way, Carabajal said, the city could afford to build an RO plant without having to sell bonds or borrow money for the project.
“Nothing says we can’t look for water beneath our feet,” Carabajal said.
Morrill agreed. “I think we need to look at all our options,” he said.
Morrill then made a motion to have Vela write up a request for proposals and Mayor Pro Tem Libby Spires seconded the motion.
It passed unanimously.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.