Aaron Bunker, hydrologist for the Virgin Valley Water District, announced the long-awaited completion of replacement well 1A in Bunkerville is expected in May.  At the May 7 board meeting, Bunker said the well and its arsenic treatment plant are in the final stages of testing and compliance sampling so that the well can be put online.

Written verification of substantial completion must be provided by the Nevada Bureau of Safe Drinking Water to allow the well to go into service.  VVWD tests its system water quality annually, and is in compliance with federal and state water quality standards.

With the completion of well 1A, VVWD will have five of its nine wells in operation, including

wells 2, 27A, 31, 33, and 1A. Well 31 was rehabilitated this past winter, successfully improving that well’s flow by about 50 percent. A chemical cleansing to remove additional iron from the well’s water prior to final purification is still in process, but the well is in functioning condition. District well 28A has also been rehabilitated, awaiting a new submersible motor that will be installed in the coming months. Specific capacity of well 28A has improved about 90 percent in that rehabilitation, but the well is months away from being returned to service.

Questioned whether the valley’s culinary water system will be ready to meet summer demand,  the board members and staff agreed that the slow but steady progress of the well projects will adequately serve the community.

Long term, VVWD is planning for drilling new well 34 north of Mesquite in Lincoln County.

The well drilling specifications have been completed by Bowen-Collins and are being reviewed by the state. The entire well 34 drilling and transmission line completion will take several years before it will serve the district.

In the only board action of the meeting, the directors approved purchase of an alternative site for the drilling of well 26A, off of Hardy Way in Mesquite. Well 26, one of the older wells in the system, was taken offline last year. It is necessary to relocate the replacement well from its current site in a City of Mesquite maintenance yard. The city owns other adjacent parcels in the industrial area.

Early in the year, VVWD management negotiated with the City of Mesquite for purchase an approximate half acre parcel of land for no more than $57,000. The expenditure was questioned by water district board members when it was noted that other utilities have not paid for city land in the past. The parcel identified for purchase had an additional problem in that several utility lines are buried under the lot, reducing the area in which a well could be sited.

District manager Kevin Brown took the board’s concerns to Mesquite City Council. This prompted the city to reiterate its pricing, stating that the former practice of gratis transfer of city land to utilities has been discontinued in the interest of better managing city assets. On April 9, a meeting was held with the city, Overton Power District 5 and TDS Communications to discuss relocation of the utility lines that cross the parcel. It was agreed that the utilities would move those lines to an existing public right of way/easement to free up the parcel for unencumbered siting of the well.

With VVWD concerns addressed, the board voted unanimously to proceed with the land purchase.  Drilling specifications for well 26A have been completed in the meantime, and are pending with Nevada Department of Environmental Protection.