Work to re-drill a collapsed well near Riverview Park started this week and Carson City officials would like to see it completed before the weather turns toasty and need is greatest.
An upgrade of pump and pipe is expected to start this summer at Marlette Lake to improve water delivery to Carson and Virginia cities.
Carson City only uses Marlette to ease its water needs during times when demand peaks and it provides no more than 10 percent of the water used in Carson at one time. And Virginia City only depends on water from the lake during times of drought. Typically there is enough water on the east slope from Hobart Reservoir and its tributaries to meet that community's needs, said Ed James, general manager of the Carson Water Subconservancy District.
If the well isn't completed and Marlette water isn't available, it might be a problem at some point during the summer when temperatures rise and fire dangers increase, said city public works director Andrew Burnham.
The drilling will be intermittent and should be complete by mid-April. The well near Fifth Street and Well Way is expected to be back in service by mid-June or July after other parts of the job are complete, such as welding.
Last summer, the city didn't require any water from Marlette to satisfy users' needs. Whether supply will be sufficient enough this summer to avoid any interruptions is highly likely, but "always depends on the weather," he said.
The well is about 30 years old. It came with the development of Riverview Estates.
"Every well is important, but this is one of the bigger ones," said Ken Arnold, public works operations manager.
It is capable of moving 1,000 gallons of water per minute through the water system, and pulls the water from far below ground - at least 300 feet, Arnold said.
The Board of Supervisors approved a fast-track of the contract and awarded it to WDC Exploration and Wells in Woodland, Calif., after the problem was detected during a video survey of the well late last year.
Estimated cost to do the work is more than $378,000, an increase from the $273,000 cost initially projected. Supervisors will decide whether to approve the added amount during the meeting Thursday.
• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.