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Village approves search for new well

Board votes to research new sites, prepare for future development

April 23, 2013

Germantown - Shallow wells are hard to find, but when they are found Germantown Director of Public Works Dan Ludwig hopes to snatch them up and protect them from future development.

With one well currently down, new development on the horizon and a drought year fresh on everyone's mind, Ludwig approached the Village Board on Tuesday for permission to expend $40,400 so a consultant can locate a site for a potential new shallow municipal well. After a lengthy discussion, the board awarded Foth the consultant contract to investigate ideal locations in the village.

A shallow well can take two to five years to locate and get into production.

"They are hard to find and take a long time to investigate," Ludwig said.

Though they are hard to find, they are worth holding onto because Ludwig said a shallow well produces more water than deep wells. There are both deep and shallow wells used in Germantown to supply water.

"Shallow wells are something good to have in your back pocket when you need the water," he said.

Once land is identified, Ludwig will put a well head protection overlay on the land to bar it from future development so the land is ready to use should village officials decide to put it in production.

The Village Board recently approved a survey conducted by R.A. Smith National saying the village has enough water until 2028. As a result, Village Trustee Art Zabel said spending $40,000 to research a well location was premature.

"I think we're spending money too soon for a document that may sit for some time," he said.

He felt the village was getting ahead of itself, putting money toward researching a well the village may not need for 10 years and by then the research could be null and void.

Recently, Gehl Foods on Main Street in Germantown put in a 6-inch lateral to provide water to their plant for full production use, Ludwig said. This could go online at any time. Add that with future development, Ludwig said they need to plan ahead especially since shallow wells can be difficult to find. Then, when the time comes, the village will be ready to implement a new well and will not have to worry about a water shortage.

Trustee Terri Kaminski supported finding a suitable well site.

"Development could happen very quickly, both residential and commercial," she said. "To me, it's smart planning. If we identify these areas now, we can act quickly on that so I totally support this."

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