COWRA to move forward with Mustang well drill

fresh-water-well

The Central Oklahoma Water Resources Board voted Friday to test a water well on SW 29th and Mustang Road to see if the quality of the water can be treated for human consumption.

Karl Stickley, an engineer with Guernsey, estimated it would take $80,000 to pull the water from the well and have it tested. Stickley said starting the project will depend on when the city of Yukon pays its COWRA dues.

“This is what I’d like to do if we have the money,” Stickley said.

COWRA is a consortium of municipal governments as well as the county that has been looking for ways to wean the area off water dependence on Oklahoma City. Members pay annual dues to help fund the effort.

Stickley said owners of the Mustang property, formerly used as a sod farm, drilled a water well several years ago with hopes of using the water to irrigate their farm. However, the water was unfit for that purpose, Stickley said. He said it is not known if the well casing deteriorated since it was first drilled.

Stickley said if the well has held together it might not cost more than $8,000 to pump water from it, “if we get lucky.”

Stickley said it is known that the water is too brackish now for consumption.

“The water is not usable, but what we need to know is if it can be treated easily,” he said.

Stickley said local drilling companies are extremely busy this time of year, but it may be possible to get a contractor at the site by August.

Three companies responded to a bid COWRA sent out. The lowest bid came in at $94,109.50, according to minutes of the June 27 COWRA meeting. The minutes said Frontier Logging has access to a well “approximately one-half mile east of Mustang Road, on the south side of SW 29th. The firm is said to have no knowledge of the condition of the casing, however, the owner of the property has agreed to sign access agreement. The well will require a power source and, possibly, rehab before water testing can be done. The total bid for this well site and two other test sites, $94,109.50.”

The other two bids, one firm from Kansas, the other from Texas, were both more than $375,000.

The COWRA board, according to the minutes, discussed three options: Go with bids; cut back depth; or not do test well in the Duncan and use available information.

Other discussion, the minutes said, included “make sure all contingencies are understood and lay out all options for comparison in order to make good decisions, also, reset date or project to September/October may attract more bidders.”

The “Duncan” is a water basin inside the area where the engineers said COWRA should look for a source of brackish water.

COWRA members are looking at the possibility of building a brackish water treatment plant, if the water source can be found. The project has been estimated at anywhere from $60 million to $100 million.