Folsom city officials have high hopes for a new water well drilled just of East Natomas Street near the Empire Ranch Gold Course. The site was identified in 2005 but a recent grant by the state allowed the city to drill down 200 feet to the water table.
The next step is to install a pump and pipes to do a 72 production test to see how much water it will yield and what the water quality will be. The water is non-potable and would be used for street and median landscaping.
Much of Folsom uses treated drinking water for landscape watering, all of which comes from Folsom Reservoir intakes. The lake level is dropping drastically and may reach the water intakes by late fall.
“If we can reduce the amount of water we take from Folsom Lake it can reduce the amount of potable water that the city does have to treat,' said Marcus Yasutake, Folsom's director of environmental and water resources.
The site is also valuable because that newer part of the city already has non-potable water lines installed. But the city has no non-potable water sources. It would be a simple matter to hook up the well to the unused lines.
Much depends on the production test, but the best case is for the city to be able to pump 280 to 300 thousand gallons of water a day from the well. That's only a tenth of the treated water produced every day by the city's water treatment plant near the reservoir, but during a severe drought that is still a significant amount of water.
The downside is that it takes a lot of electricity to keep well pumps going 24 hours a day. But Yasutake says those costs would be offset to get a slight cost savings.
“There should be less chemical costs and less treatment cost associated with this water because it is a non-potable source," said Yasutake.
The installation of a pump and pipes for the test should be completed toward the end of September.