By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

Two new wells are being drilled to replace older water sources.

The city contracted with Westerberg Drilling for the work at a cost of $177,440. The two sites – both on Brandon Street NE – are expected to be complete by late August.

They are listed as the Carlhaven East and Carlhaven West well sites. Both currently have wells on them that have been capped.

The Carlhaven East well was being replaced in order to increase the water system’s overall production capacity, Public Works Superintendent Bill Lawyer said. But during routine maintenance work one of the wells at the Carlhaven West site was found to have “perforations in the well casing” staff weren’t aware of previously, he said.

“When we discovered that we immediately abandoned that well,” Lawyer said.

The danger there, Lawyer said, was that the upper water aquifer, which is typically “much more susceptible to contamination” than the lower one, Lawyer said, could flow into the lower one.

All of Keizer’s water comes from the lower aquifer, which is underground between 150 and 200 feet.

The water is pure enough that chemical treatment is unnecessary, so Lawyer said ensuring it’s not contaminated is of the utmost importance.

Once the work is completed, the city will have 16 active wells.

The Carlhaven East well was slated for replacement “primarily due to the age of the well,” Lawyer said. “It was drilled in the 1950s, so it’s pushing 60 years old. That was the primary reason.”