The Mullinville city council unanimously approved a water supply watch ordinance during regular session on Sept. 4 in response to a 13-foot drop in static water levels in one of the city’s two water wells.
“With the extended draught and with the Well #3 problems and the aging of our well system, we have a possible problem we need to deal with,” said Mayor Andy Kimble. “We wanted people to know the situation we were in.”
City officials have issued a “water watch,” requesting its residents to voluntarily conserve water usage, particularly non-essential water usage including watering of lawns, washing cars, filling swimming pools and water waste.
“This is not very severe,” said Kimble when asked about the severity of the alert, “that is why we are only in a water watch, which is the first level of severity.”
City wells are reported to pump upwards of 140,000 gallons per day.
There are an estimated 254 people living in Mullinville, according to the 2011 U.S. Census.
During a regular meeting on Aug. 20, city officials discussed a significant water level drop in Well #3. Its June water level was reported to be 94-feet. Water levels in August were reported to have dropped nearly 13-feet to a depth of 107 feet.
Kimble said that the water levels also dropped 5-feet last summer.
The pump in Well #3 has been pumping at a reduced level due to low water levels that has caused air intake problems.
“This has been accelerated by the draught,” said Kimble. “But we are going to have to [make some long term decisions] and figure out what to do with our well system.”
The city’s second well is smaller and older than Well #3 and Kimble said that its condition is unknown.
“Short term we’re looking at the condition of our wells,” added Kimble. “Long term if we can’t repair the wells we have and bring them up to normal use, then we will have to look into possibly digging new wells.”