The Round Timber Well Field was declared operational last Friday by Mayor Jack Smiley at a ceremony held at Well No. 11 on the Round Timber Ranch in North Wilbarger County, Texas. City Councilman Dwayne Martin (Ward IV) had the honor of throwing the switch.
“This marks the beginning of the Third Chapter of the well field,” said Martin. “Chapter 1 began when the wells were constructed in 1965; Chapter 2 began when the wells were taken out of operation in 1990. Now, some of the wells have been completely renovated and are being placed back in operation.”
Senator Mike Schulz and Representative Charles Ortega also offered remarks regarding the significance of the occasion. In attendance were numerous dignitaries from the community and the Air Force Base.
The rehabilitation of the well fields began in 2014 with improvements to two wells on a property known as the Holloway Tract. During the last nine months, work has been done to replace pumps and components for five of the wells on the round timber ranch. Almost $800,000 has been spent over the last two years to restore seven wells to operation.
Water Treatment Department Manager, Gene Leister, led the effort serving as project manager for the City. Leister oversaw 54 separate contracts with numerous consultants, contractors and suppliers to make this happen.
Even though the pipeline between the well field and the City is not ready for use, it is expected that well water will be flowing to Altus by the end of this month. This water will be blended with treated surface water from the Tom Steed Reservoir prior to disinfection and distribution into the water system. This blending is expected to increase water quality and reduce disinfection byproducts that have been a cause for concern.
John A. Barron, PE, CFM is the Public Works Director/City Engineer for the City of Altus