Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
By Amy Kronenberger
St. Marys looking into well replacements
  ST. MARYS - Three of the five aging water wells in the city have failed in the last few years, forcing city officials to prepare for replacement.
Water/sewer committee members and finance committee members met Monday to discuss the issue.
Well one, which failed last year, has been repaired at a cost of $36,173 and is back into full service.
Well two has been out of service for a few years, and the city cannot repair it until it receives Ohio EPA approval for a groundwater protection issue. Safety service director Tom Hitchcock said he hopes to have EPA approval soon so repairs can be made this year. Estimated cost to repair well two is $46,000.
Well five failed in January and has been operating through temporary equipment from Hardin/David Water Services of Groveport. Now that well one is back in service, officials would like to begin work on well five. The cost for well five repairs is estimated at $35,000.
Water/sewer committee chair Dennis Vossler said some of the wells are much past their life expectancies of 30 to 35 years. One well is 60-plus years old, and two are 40-plus years old, he said.
All the money appropriated for well maintenance has been spent on well one, Vossler added. He said he'd like to ask council to consider a supplemental appropriation to repair well five and two at a total of $81,000.
"It's a lot of money, I know, but it's really important for the city of St. Marys to have these wells operational," Vossler said.
Hitchcock said he would present an ordinance to council on June 13 that appropriates the cost of well five only. He advised waiting to appropriate money for well two until the city gets nearer to EPA approval.
"We can run with only three wells, but if another goes bad, we need to get (well) five back in service," Hitchcock said.
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