SOUTHINGTON — A crane lowered a partially-complete building over a newly-drilled well on Route 322 Tuesday morning, a major step forward in a project that’s been in the works for years.
The new well will replace one dating from 1953.
Bill Casarella, Water Department superintendent, said the old well’s production had dropped from 500 gallons per minute to 300 gallons per minute and would likely decline more. It will remain as a back-up to the new well, which will be online in a few months.
The well building protects the pump and other mechanical systems. Both the building and the roof were lowered in place by crane Tuesday. The final courses of brick will be finished on site, according to Valli Sukuru, a project engineer with Woodard & Curran.
Usually the building, built on a concrete slab and lowered on the footings surrounding the well, is completed before installation. Sukuru said the crane’s availability pushed up the installation.
“We wanted to get this here today,” she said.
The brick exterior will match the old pump house as well as the aerator tower. The well is next door to a plaza that contained a dry cleaner, Casarella said. Dry cleaning chemicals are present in small quantities in the well water and must be removed through an aeration process before the water is pumped to homes and businesses.
Casarella said the water department received a $2.1 million loan at 2 percent interest to complete the work.
“You can’t beat it,” he said of the state’s fund for drinking water projects. “That’s the only way we could do infrastructure.”
The department replaced Well Seven on Rustic Oak Drive two years ago and has other projects underway, such as water main replacements in Plantsville and the water tank construction project off Mill Street.
“We’ve been very busy, we’ve been very proactive,” Casarella said.