Because of the drought, the City of Sacramento uses ground water for about 20 percent of its water needs. The City says it could pump ground water more efficiently if it updated some of its wells.
Dan Sherry is the supervising engineer for the Department of Utilities. He says a city crew is constantly patching casings or repairing motors or switches at most of the city's 27 wells.
"There's just the efficiencies. The motors are old. The old switch gear that actually operates the motor -some of it is the actual original equipment. You know, we've been constantly going out and fixing and repairing it. It's time that we come in and do a complete overall and bring these up to a par where we can rely on them."
Sherry says repairing the motors and well-casings will increase pumping efficiency by as much as 20 percent.
"Gonna go ahead and clean the casing, put in new pumps, new motors, new electrical equipment, new fluoride, new security as far as fencing around the facilities," Sherry says. "So really just updating these facilities that have not received maintenance for several years."
The Department of Utilities will ask the Sacramento City Council tonight to approve a $3.5 million retrofit project for eight of the city's 27 wells.
All but one of the wells are in north Sacramento. The newest was drilled in 1993. The oldest was drilled in 1946.
A contractor's bid has already been accepted. The repairs are scheduled to be completed within eight months.
Four wells were rehabilitated during phase one of this project. The City plans to rehab another eight wells after this current project is finished.