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Horizontal water well planned in Midwest City

By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon

Midwest City plans to inject new technology into its municipal water system.

The city council recently approved a request to install a new horizontal water well near the pumping station. The horizontal well uses technology from the oil and gas industry to produce more water than a conventional vertical well.

The new horizontal well will supply water to the booster station located on Felix Dr. near Country Estates Elementary School. It will allow the city to increase the ground water supply while decreasing the need to rehabilitate older, existing vertical wells, said Paul Streets, public works director.

“This is an opportunity to put a well with higher yield in close proximity to our booster station, so we maybe do not have to replace wells and infrastructure that has failed,” Streets said.

The well is expected to produce about three times as much water as a conventional vertical well.

The city council awarded a $2.9 million contract to Community Water Solutions, Inc. at an April 25 council meeting. CWS developed a proprietary method that transfers oil field horizontal drilling technology to the municipal groundwater industry.

It will be the first well of its kind in Oklahoma.

“This is very unique technology that was developed by fine tuning attempts in other states,” Streets said.

A typical vertical well will have about 100 feet of productive sand zones in multiple layers down to the total depth of the well. The horizontal well will target the most productive zone and then drill 1,000 to 1,500 feet of lateral bore hole within the best producing zone.

A location for the well has not yet been determined. CWS will work with the city and Garver LLC to locate the well. The company will then drill a hole and log formations. They will later drill the vertical portion and horizontal laterals to open up to 1,500 feet of sand formation. CWS will develop, test and produce the formation for 24 hours to determine the initial flow. They will then set a well pump, construct a basic well house and connect the well to the system.

“That’s where geology comes into play and we’ll need to identify the correct location and put the right hole in the right spot,” said Cole Niblett, with Garver LLC which provides engineering services for the city.

CWS offers guarantees if the well is unsuccessful or if the well sees a significant decline in water production within five years.

Midwest City’s primary water source is Lake Thunderbird. The city also has several conventional groundwater wells that support the booster system. The groundwater wells produce 250 to 3,000 gallons per minute and supply groundwater to the drinking water system.

In addition to the water well, the city council also approved a contract with Garver LLC to design a new water tower on the southeast side of the city. Residential growth on the east side of the city has created a need for another tower to help with water supply and pressure demands in the area.

Midwest City hired Garver in 2012 to create a model of the city’s water infrastructure, evaluate its performance and project future needs. Since that time, the city has completed several projects to improve the efficiency of the system. Those include upgrades to the Carl Albert Titan water tower, equipment improvements and line connections, and construction of a new pumping station and water tank.

The new water tower is expected to cost $12.19 million for construction and $674,900 for design work. The city was awarded a $5 million grant through the Army Corps of Engineers to build the water storage tank at the booster station as well as the new water tower. City manager Tim Lyon said U.S. Rep. Tom Cole assisted in securing the grant.

Garver expects to have the design work completed by summer 2024. Construction is expected to be completed by early 2026.

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