The site of Carterville’s new water well is right by Highway 171, which splits the city. Participating in the groundbreaking today are public works employees, City Administrator Will Cline, Council member Chris Henkle, Mayor Alan Griffin and representatives of Harper Drilling and Anderson Engineering.

Backup water supply is being drilled for Carterville

Carterville officially broke ground for its long-awaited second water well today – while it was actually being dug behind the ceremonial shovels.

The need for a second well was the most obvious in February last year when the original well broke down, leaving most of the city’s 1,900 residents to endure several days without running water.

A rate hike will not be needed because $1,565,000 in bonds approved by voters in 2009 didn’t have to be issued for their original purpose after all. Rather, grants were received to finance the required lift station replacement. And emergency grants were obtained to pay for last year’s well replacement.

The plan now is to use the unused bonds for a five-year plan of improvements.

Council member Chris Henkle said the city’s water situation is better already because the city can now buy water if needed from Public Water Supply No. 3, and the connection to Webb City’s water system has been improved.

In addition to Henkle, Mayor Alan Griffin, City Administrator Will Cline and public works employees  were shoveling the dirt today, along with representatives of Harper Drilling and Anderson Engineering.

The well digging can easily be seen from Highway 171. It’s going on at First and Walnut streets, just west of City Hall.

The new well was first to be drilled farther south in the John’s Town area, but that ground was found to be unacceptable. Council member Larry Wald did an even swap of land so the city could have a better site.

Henkle said preliminary tests show promise that the quality of the water will be good.