Sun Creek Water Association seeks funding for new well

Katie Reams of Calvert Spradling Engineers, at the Sun Creek Water Association public hearing, to discuss the intent to file an application through the U.S.D.A. for funds to dig a new well.
Staff Writer

The Sun Creek Water Association (SCWA) held a public hearing Wednesday morning to discuss applying for a USDA Rural Development Grant.

The SCWA plans to drill a new water well to serve the more than 600 customers.

According to Katie Reams, an engineer with Calvert Spradling Engineers, there are currently three wells serving the area. Of the three, two were drilled approximately 40 years ago.

"The size of the proposed well will almost fulfill the capacity of the two older wells combined," Reams said. "The one closest to the new site was originally drilled in 1973, so that well could cease production at any time. This is good preventive maintenance. It costs a lot more to have to drill an emergency well than to apply for funding and not be in a hurry."

A USDA Rural Development Grant to cover 45 percent of the cost has been applied for, with the estimated cost of the project being $1,044,000. The remainder will be financed with a low-interest loan.

SCWA President Bill Cox, and the board, have approved the scope of the project.

"The lot has been cleared," Reams said. "It has been approved by the Fish and Wildlife Association, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, NRCS and the Corps of Engineers. The actual purchase of the property is all that needs to happen."

Heather Springer of the Sun Creek Water Association is still working with an attorney for the project.

"This is a good project for the Sun Creek Water Association," Donald Watson, a member of the community, said. "It will help maintain good water pressure, especially for the Webster County people."
Watson explained that the water system covers an area close to Maben and near the Dancy community.

"The new well will be in Webster County, within a mlle of the original well that is in Clay County," Reams said. "But it will continue to service every one who is covered within the Sun Creek Water Association."

Reams said that with waning water pressure and supply from the oldest well, the project needs to be moving forward before there is a problem with the oldest well.

"Once the Rural Development funding is in place, the actual drilling won't take long at all," Reams said. "It will take 18 months to 2 years to have the well in operation. Getting the funding approved is what takes the longest amount of time."

Reams said the water in the area is very good, and that is a huge benefit as it needs little treatment to be used in area homes and businesses.