WILLIAMSTOWN -- Over two and a half years after work began to dig a new well, water from it is now flowing into the town's public water supply.
Public Works Director Timothy Kaiser said Thursday that the new well has been online since Monday, and it has been pumping at about 550 gallons a minute.
"We're permitted by the state to pump up to 670 gallons a minute if need be, but the real withdrawal capacity is much greater than that," he said.
The amount of water that is currently being pumped by the well is enough to maintain the town's water demand without tapping into the two other municipal wells, he said.
"It was a rough road getting here, but the well is an excellent source for the town," he said.
The new well, which is located off Stetson Road, replaces the old Well No. 1. The old well, which was dug nearby in 1959, had been out of service for about five years.
The town's other two wells, which were dug in 1963 and 1989, are located off Stetson Road and behind Colonial Village, respectively.
Kaiser said the final phase of work on the new well began in late spring and early summer. It involved the placement of a prefabricated building over the well head, and the installation of piping, electrical work and controls, he said. The chlorination facility from the old well also had to be refitted for the new one, he said.
"The total budget for this project was $892,000. To my knowledge, we will have
Since the entire well project began, it has hit some snags, with the most significant one being in February 2010 when water from the artesian aquifer running under the area bubbled to the surface and opened a sinkhole 6 feet wide and 14 feet deep.
Kaiser said the completion of the new well also brings the town's water supply system, which is based on three wells, back to being fully operational.
"We now have the full safety factor back in place with the ability to draw water from three different sources, which is pretty good redundancy," he said.
While any one of the three wells are capable of supplying water to the whole town, having them all in working order gives the town the flexibility to rotate them if one needs to be taken out of commission for rest or repair, he said.
With the new well online, the next major project involving the town's water supply system will be the rehabilitation of Well No. 2, he said. The well, drilled in 1963, is still operating with the majority of its original equipment, he said.
"It's something we're talking about right now, but we haven't begun making an actual plan for it," he said.
To reach Meghan Foley, email