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New deep water well being constructed in city

Jack Thilquist, with North Star Drilling, supervises the drilling of a 287 foot well in Park Rapids south of the Frank White Education Center. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

Construction of a new well and well house has begun in Park Rapids.

The new well is located south of Frank White Education Center in Park Rapids. The well is deep, at about 287 feet.

North Star Drilling has been contracted to dig the well. Jack Thilquist, who is heading up the work with North Star Drilling, said drilling should be completed by Tuesday. Once the well has reached 287 feet, cement will be poured and will need to set.

The new well will replace a shallow well that was closed in 2009 after tests showed high nitrate levels.

A test well was constructed in Park Rapids last year at a deeper level to see if the water quality would be better than the water from the city's other wells. The city's shallow wells are between 50 and 70 feet.

The test well was successful. Several water quality samples were taken last year and were within recommended standards.

Arsenic, nitrate, hardness, iron and manganese were all tested. The only compound that exceeded the recommended level is iron. The iron level tested at .57 mg/l. The recommended standard is .3 mg/l or less.

The presence of iron in a municipal water source does not pose a health risk but could be noticeable at elevated levels by the consumer due to staining of fixtures. Also, iron deposits can build up in the water mains over time.

This can be alleviated by flushing dead end hydrants more frequently or possibly adding a polyphosphate to sequester the iron, if necessary, city engineers previously informed the Park Rapids City Council.

After the well is completed next week, a well house will be constructed at the site. The well house is paid for in part by a federal grant for about $400,000.

The well house will be capable of housing four wells. It will house three immediately, with the option to expand to include a fourth well.

There are currently two functional wells on this site - the shallower wells. The deep well will be added.

The existing well house building will be removed as part of the project.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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