White Lake Well House Fails; Township OKs Engineering Study
The Twin Lakes well house pump failed Saturday.
The White Lake Township Board of Trustees approved an engineering study to replace the original well in the Twin Lakes well house after if failed this past Saturday.
The well, located behind Tim Hortons and Wendys at Fisk and Highland Roads, was drilled in 1958 and failed due to age, according to Paul Shearlock, White Lake Township Water Department Director. The failure caused flooding, with a loss of about 100,000 gallons of water at a rate of 400 gallons per minute.
Shearlock said it took about an hour or two before responding firefighters were able to shut off the valve inside the well house to stop the leak and turn off the power inside the building.
The largest well in the Twin Lakes well house is still running, as it was just redone in January.
According to Shearlock, the original 8-inch well needs to be replaced with a new, larger 12-inch well due to the increased growth in 55 years.
In addition, the DTE Energy electrical pole outside the well house is bent, which may cause potential water damage if it should fall.
"Those transformers are old, about 50-60 years old," Shearlock said. "They may have PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyl) in them. It's one of the most toxic materials known to man. They work as an insulator, but they can break, they can leak and if they catch on fire, it can cause pollution. Then you have to clean up the soil, which is very expensive. So it's best to get rid of those and that's another reason for doing this project. If the wind breaks, the pole could fall and break open and contaminate the soil."
The generator and electrical will also need to be upgraded due to age and potential water damage.
The township's Capital Improvement plan calls for the eventual replacement of this well and well house refurbishment, which would cost about $375,000.
Shearlock proposed that the cost be funded using the Water Capital Fund and fund equity. The Water Capital Fund currently has $4.6 million.
Shearlock estimates that the construction of the new well will take about a year to complete.