CUMBERLAND — The Town Council has given the Water Department the green light to move forward with a plan to drill test wells at five sites where town water officials hope to find new municipal sources of water.
At its meeting Wednesday, the council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing Mayor Daniel J. McKee to enter into a $172,730 two-year contract with Layne Christiensen Company for the drilling of test wells at five locations — Franklin Farm on Abbott Run Valley Road; Schofield Farm on Nate Whipple Highway and Little Pond County Road, west of the intersection with Diamond Hill Road; the Staples Road property; the Blackwell property; and the Longbrook property.
The sites have already been evaluated and reconditioned to prepare for actual test drilling.
The funding for the drilling and exploration work will come from the Water Department's operating budget.
The Cumberland Water Department, located at 98 Nate Whipple Highway, provides potable water to approximately 21,000 people within Cumberland. Five storage tanks are serviced and maintained with a total storage capacity of 11 million gallons.
The Water Department obtains water from four sources, the largest source being Pawtucket Water Supply Board. The water system averages two million gallons per day with a peak day consumption of 7 million gallons.
Water Department Superintendent Christopher Champi said finding new municipal sources of water will save the town tens of thousands of dollars because it won't have to rely as much on purchased water.
"For every 100 gallons a minute of water that we provide through groundwater supplies, as opposed to water we provide out of either Sneech Pond or that we purchase, would result in about $200,000 in annual savings to the town," Champi told the council.
The department recieved two bids for the job; Christiensen Company came in with the low bid. They’ve worked for the town on past water projects.
The council Wednesday also approved a resolution authorizing McKee to enter into a $150,000 contract with Elco Electric Service Corporation for maintenance and repair of electrical equipment at the Water Department facility.