By Patrick McCreless
The Hanceville Water and Sewer Board received favorable reports Tuesday on the quality of a second possible water source for the city.
“It would be excellent bottled water,” said Marlon Cook of the Geological Survey of Alabama (GSA).
Through a slideshow presentation, Cook explained the GSA’s initial survey of a 2,850-foot well located on the property of Hanceville resident Jimmy Hamrick. He said various techniques were used to conduct the well survey including seismic assessments and satellite imagery.
From three water samples, Cook said surveyors determined the water was drinkable and was devoid of any contaminants. The only thing detected in the water was a small amount of naturally-occurring sodium chloride, which Cook said would give the water a good taste.
Due to the survey findings, Cook recommended the board do further pump tests on the well.
“The pump test will show the sustainability of that water,” Cook said.
He noted the extra tests would be relatively inexpensive.
The board began searching for another source of water last year after the city’s current aquifer went dry due to record drought conditions. Hanceville was forced to purchase water from the city of Cullman for several months until the aquifer refilled this spring.
“It’s still a great well,” Cook said. “It may not have been able to do what you needed last fall but still, you won’t find many of those.”
Cook added however that if the Hamrick well proves to be sustainable, it would be an excellent source of water during any kind of drought.
“That’s the beauty of a confined aquifer ... drought doesn’t affect it,” he said.
The Hamrick well got its start in 1922 when prospectors were drilling in search for oil in the area. The prospectors did not find oil, but they did find plenty of water.
Hamrick said his family has owned the well and the land around it for the last 75 years. During most of that time, Hamrick said the well has been used as a water source for livestock.
When he heard about Hanceville’s water shortage last year, Hamrick suggested the city take a look at his well.
Hamrick said a bottling company recently contacted him about purchasing his well water. However, to him the city comes first.
“They (Hanceville) got it as long as they need it,” Hamrick said.
By Patrick McCreless