Mendon’s new well will be pumping soon, but not enough

MENDON–During a routine water test in the fall of 2009, Mendon city discovered that the nitrates in its water were really high. After sending the information into the Utah Water Quality Board, Mendon was given approval to turn off the well. The nitrates were above the safety standards.With the loss of the well, Mendon has been relying on a spring to provide residents with water. However, even with the spring, the water available to the city is not enough. Throughout 2010, the Mendon City Council worked to get authorization to drill for a new well.”There are a lot of steps and hoops to jump though,” Jon Hardman, city council member in charge of culinary water, said.It took the council over a year to get approval for the well. In comparison to the standard this was a quick process, Hardman said. Most cities are told it takes about 18 months to two years to get the approval that Mendon has been given.The start of the new well was initiated in January just west of Mendon. The well is expected to be ready to pump in the next 60 days.But even with this new well, the water it provides will not be enough for residents to live on, Hardman said. They will have to start the approval process all over again for another well. The watershed from the mountains is not very high on this end of the valley and finding a well location that will have enough water proves difficult even if they get approval.Mendon residents are informed by a color-coded sign board at the entrances to the city how much water can be used that day. The code is not unlike Cache Valley’s colors to flag the air quality.Residents have been very conscious to check their water usage in this time of crisis, Hardman said. Even with the loss of a well and the insufficient supply of the incoming one, he said Mendon is “grateful for what [it] can get.”

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