Water Works dedicates new high-volume well

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 1, 2000

Next week, the Greenville Water Works and Sewer Board will host a program for the kickoff of the city's newest well and will dedicate the structure in memory of former Water Works and Sewer Board Chairman William Lewis.

The new well, which passed its final Alabama Department of Environment Management testing on Monday, began pumping water into the Greenville distribution system on Tuesday.

Located on County Road 45 South, the well was built on the Ripley Aquifer and went through several tests during 1999 and Water Board officials have been anxious for the well to begin pumping new water for the residents of Greenville.

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"This well is capable of pumping 1,100 gallons of water per minute," said Water Board Chairman Joe Hendrix. "We will run the well about 8 hours a day and that will allow for the other wells to get a shot in the arm and recharge."

Hendrix said that the board wanted to name the well after Lewis because of his dedication to the people of Greenville before he died of a heart attack while still serving as the chairman of the water board.

"He also worked really hard to do the best job possible. He would always ask me: What are we going to do about water.' He died while serving as chairman and before we found the new well. He would be very happy to know that Greenville will have water for a long time to come," Hendrix said.

Officials with the water board are inviting everyone to attend the dedication where they will unveil the city's newest fifth well.

"We hope that a lot of people will come out and join us for this special occasion," he said. "We are very excited about it and we think a lot of other people are as well. This is a great thing for the residents of our city and we want as many of them to join us as possible for the unveiling."

For much of the past decade one of the main goals of the Water Board has been to find another source to supply the residents of Greenville with water. The Ripley Aquifer, which was at one time believed to be shallowing, proved that it was still the city's best source for water and this new well was built to utilize the resource.

Water Board Operation Manager Gerald Johnson said the aquifer was the most cost-efficient place to put the new well and that after studying the Ripley Aquifer more thoroughly it was found that the water supply there was still very plentiful.

"We found and secured a plentiful water supply and confirmed that we could still go to the Ripley Aquifer, which is the only water supply that is economically feasible for Greenville at the present time," Johnson said.

The new well will draw water from the Ripley at 750 gallons of water per minute.

"The new well , which includes a five-mile, 16-inch transmission line into the city's distribution system has been constructed," he said.

The water board also has purchased more land on the Ripley Aquifer so that other wells may be constructed in the future.

"We were able to secure additional sites that can be used for future wells," Johnson said.

This now puts the number of wells in Greenville up to five. The four previous wells pump water at 300 to 550 gallons per minute.

Lewis is the second water board chairman to have a city site named after him. John Murphy who drowned while serving in that office has been honored by having the main street of the Greenville Industrial Park named after him.