In Rio Rancho, Well Site 9 is famous.
It had a spot in the movie “Logan.”
Other than that, though, it’s been a rough spell for the city well, which was taken offline in 2019.
“We’ve had a problem with sanding on that well for many years,” said Steve Gallegos, deputy director of the Rio Rancho Utilities Department.
So much for stardom.
Still, the well got some recognition by Mayor Gregg Hull at a recent governing body meeting, where he referred to it as one of the city’s “more famous” wells.
It’s getting even more attention now.
The Rio Rancho Governing Body approved a contract with Hydro Resources-Rocky Mountain Inc. to re-drill the well. The well is outside city limits off King Blvd. and Unicorn Court, about six miles west of City Center.
Cost of the project is $4.4 million.
The impact of re-drilling Well 9 will be significant.
According to documents outlining the project, “Re-drilling a new well will replace the previous water supply source from this site to the city’s current permits to meet the current and anticipated future needs and improve the city’s overall water supply reliability during peak water demand times.”
The well was taken off-line because of “sand-reduced pumping capacity” that required replacement of pumps every two to four years, according to city documents.
The well also suffered multiple lightning strikes, resulting in periodic outages and limiting water production.
Well 9 is nonetheless “an important well within the city’s well groups.”
It’s the only well with its own pumping permit from the state engineer’s office, Gallegos said.
It has a potential capacity of 2,419 acre-feet per year. The equivalent is three homes served for every acre-foot.
Money for the project will come from a combination of grant funding from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ($1.2 million), a previously obtained New Mexico Finance Authority Drinking Water Loan and existing Utilities Department revenues sources.
The contract time for completion of this project is 13 months.