Council pays well drilling bill

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  • PHOTO BY ANN GENADER West Milford Library Director Ricardo Pino and Library Board President Joan Oberer at a council meeting tell of the successful effort to get a well for the new library. Bill paid to BSE for well-drilling attempts


The township council authorized a payment of $30,655 to BSE Mechanical for two unsuccessful attempts to drill wells for the township’s new library.

Library Board President Joan Oberer and Director Ricardo Pino were present and answered questions council members had about the resolution last month. They said money to pay the bill is coming out of an existing construction bond and is not an extra cost to the taxpayers. The library board and council were representatives in a sub-committee working together to solve the well issue.

The resolution noted that the Board of Trustees of the West Milford Township Library and the governing body of the Township of West Milford had entered into a partnership to build the new $4,845,000 library facility. It said the new facility’s water supply needs were to be met by an existing well on the property but in the course of construction it was determined that the existing well would not meet the long-term needs of the facility due to an inadequate supply, age, and water quality.

The need to re-drillThe document explained that a joint subcommittee comprised of library trustees and council members, in consultation with project professionals, determined that the facility’s immediate consumption needs and the long-term interests of the township would best be served by drilling a new well for the building while construction was in progress.

All necessary state and local permits and permit modifications required for drilling a new well for the facility were secured. The library director received four estimates for the drilling of a new well and the installation of a pump for the well – with estimates based on costs per foot and installed casings.

BSE Mechanical and J. Olinger Drilling merged their estimates, with BSE providing the pump and project management and J. Olinger drilling the well as subcontractor.

Ferreiro Engineering identified three general locations for drilling a new well that satisfied all local and state regulations. It said consensus was reached by project stakeholders in consultation with project professionals as to which of the three locations would be drilled.

Third time's the charmThe first drilling attempted was terminated at 203 feet due to the casing and drive shoe bending and prohibiting further progress.

A second drilling attempt started after regulatory and re-permitting requirements were met. During this attempt ground conditions classified as disintegrating granite, characterized as weathered, porous stone that could not support fractures, and decomposed into a mixture of mud and clay not conducive to anchoring well casing or yielding water, brought forth new problems.

The latest attempt to locate an underground water well to supply the new building was successful on Jan. 27 when Turnbull Drilling at 275 feet had an output of 15 gallons per minute.

Matt Mulhall of M2 Associates, after reviewing findings suggested that there be drilling near where the Finn house – there for decades and providing a water supply for the family – was located. That well produced 45 gallons per minute.

The joint subcommittee, upon receiving a full summary and analysis of drilling conditions from project professionals, including the township hydrogeologist, agreed to halt further drilling at the chosen location at 420 feet.

No materials or labor cost were incurred for the first drilling attempt due to equipment malfunction.

Costs for the second drilling attempt were incurred as per defined costs per foot and additional costs were incurred to properly abandon both well attempts as required by state regulations.

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