Monday the High Plains Water District announced their partnership with the City of Wolfforth in funding the creation of an exploratory well in Wolfforth city limits to test the potential of the Dockum and Trinity Edwards aquifers.
Construction of this test well is expected to start early this year and will extend to 1,700 feet below the ground, HPWD said. The well will allow HPWD to learn more about the potential of the Dockum Aquifer, which is the deepest aquifer the region has tapped into for water supply. After testing, the hole in the ground will then be filled up to the height of the Trinity Edwards (High Plains) Aquifer, and depending on water quality, may be used as a municipal well for the city of Wolfforth.
Jason Coleman, manager of the High Plains Water District said that while three municipalities have worked with HPWD to tap into the Dockum Aquifer, he believes the City of Wolfforth is the first municipality in the district to try to use the Trinity Edwards aquifer.
Coleman added that while the Dockum Aquifer has a high salt and particle content (thus making it difficult for Wolfforth to use for drinking water), the Trinity Edwards source may be easier to use. He added that Wolfforth is uniquely equipped to try out the Trinity Edwards because of their recent efforts to develop powerful water treatment facilities.
“The City of Wolfforth has invested a good bit of money in developing and constructing a water treatment facility using electrodialysis reversal treatment technology to address several water quality issues in their existing source wells,” Coleman explained.
Darell Newsom, Wolfforth City Manager, explained that the EDR treatment facility was built partially out of concerns over fluoride and arsenic levels in the city’s water and partially in anticipation of the demands of a growing population.
“With the water treatment plant, it gives us a lot more options,” Newsom said.
Newsom explained that unlike Lubbock, which draws water from many sources across the South Plains, Wolfforth gets all of it’s water currently from wells into the Ogallala Aquifer.
The City of Wolfforth began talking with the High Plains Water District about a paired exploration of the Trinity Edwards aquifer months ago. The City of Lubbock has already begun testing the Dockum Aquifer with a new well, but that well is 16 miles away from Wolfforth, so HPWD proposed a new well.
Newsom said that once the new well is able to pump out water, the city will need to send the water to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for testing.
“Now, [Wolfforth is] looking to add to their supply, the City of Wolfforth has seen a lot of growth so they’re going to need a lot of water in the future,” explained Katherine Drury, Education Outreach Coordinator for HPWD.
Coleman hopes this venture will be helpful for the City of Wolfforth, and other cities who may be looking for more water sources in the future. He’s glad to HPWD and Wolfforth are taking the time to explore this option now, as opposed to when water becomes scarce.
“We have a number of instances where people don’t look for options for water sources until a drought occurs and really at that point in time you’re pressing the envelope as far as fast-racking a project for an exploration,” Coleman said.