There’s a plan to repair Fulton’s oldest and most important water well and with a vote this week, the city is now free to move quickly to implement the plan.
The Keller Well #1, located at the city waterworks on the southern edge of the city, collapsed in May. That caused the city to order people to boil their water for several days while water quality was tested and confirmed to be safe.
The well is not being used now, but Mayor Ron Woodward said that it continues to fill with water. “This well is amazing,” said Woodward. “The water doesn’t stop.”
The well dates to 1885. It’s 20 feet deep and 20 feet in diameter. Woodward said most wells are much deeper and provide lower amounts of water.
A pump is running around the clock to pump 400 gallons of water per minute from the well into the Oswego River. The city has an emergency permit from the state Department of Environmental Conservation to pump the water. Without the pump, the entire city waterworks would flood, Woodward said.
The city will borrow $115,000 to fix the well. The money will be used to buy a custom-made liner from a company in Pennsylvania and to hire an engineering firm to oversee the installation of the liner.
Woodward said it would take about two weeks for the company to make and install the liner.
“Time is of the essence,” said Woodward. “Because if that well caves in, we’ll be pumping 400 gallons a minute into the river forever.”