Third time's the charm

Driller finds well for library providing 15 gallons per minute

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  • Photo by Linda Smith Hancharick The new West Milford Library now has a sufficient water source.


WEST MILFORD — The new library has water.

On Friday morning, Jan. 27, Turnbull Drilling successfully drilled the well at 275 feet with an output of 15 gallons per minute.

This was the third attempt at drilling a well for the project. In September, 2016 J. Ollinger Drilling had to abandon its attempt one week in because a drive shoe and casing were bent in the process.

In November, a second attempt for the well drilling ended after drilling 420 feet because there was no viable rock in the area.

In December, the township's hydrogeological consultant, Matt Mulhall of M2 Associates, reviewed the findings of the drilling attempts and said they should instead drill in the vicinity of the original house well toward the front of the property. That well produced 3.5 gallons per minute.

On Jan. 25, Turnbull Drilling began the third attempt and on Friday, they found their well.

Mayor Bettina Bieri was happy with the news.

"Right from the start of this project, the well which previously serviced the Finn residence was determined to be sufficient to sustain the new facility," Bieri told the Messenger. "However, the library board strongly felt that relying on a 40-plus-year-old well was certainly not ideal. Successfully drilling a new well was the last hurdle before completion of the new library and community center. Although some elected officials had their doubts about the water supply, the library board sought professional input and remained confident that the site had a more than adequate source of water. Achieving 15 GPM, however, rose significantly above our expectations."

The new library, which is a joint venture between the library board and the township, is expected to be completely finished and ready for a grand opening in early March.

"We are ecstatic that this project has not only remained on schedule, but has had minimal change orders and therefore ultimately will be completed at less than the total forecasted cost," said Bieri. "This facility will be a tremendous asset for our community and for residents of all ages. The library board and staff truly look forward to its anticipated grand opening this spring."

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