A New Well for Ferndale

In 2017, the City began drilling a new well to expand the capacity of our water system. Beginning in 2020, that well is coming online and will begin augmenting our supply. Here’s some more information about what that means for Ferndale.

Tapping a New Aquifer

The new well reaches down over 1,000 feet to access a brand new aquifer. Here’s an illustration of how that works and what happens to the water next. Click on the graphic to enlarge.

Expanding our Water Treatment Facilities

To better process the new water being added to our system and expand our capacity, the City is upgrading its Water Treatment Plant. The project, set to be completed in 2021, is intended to convert the existing drinking water treatment system to a 100% reverse osmosis treatment system. This is a similar process to what is used by most bottled water companies. The very pure reverse osmosis treated water will be remineralized using calcium carbonate (calcite) so that the water is not too soft and not too hard, similar to the water hardness prior to 2012 when the City utilized water from the Nooksack River.

Testing the Water from the New Well

In 2019, as the City worked to secure the water rights for the new well, we produced this video talking about the process of testing the water from the new well and what this resource would mean for our community.

Activating the Well

The new well, Shop Well #2, will most likely begin supplying groundwater to the City Water System starting on May 28th. This will augment the City’s supply from the existing two wells, Shop Well #1 (SW#1) and the Douglas Rd Well. Initially, the new well will be limited to supplying 26 percent of the total supply. This will ensure that the Water treatment Plant can supply the best quality of tap water.

The City plans to go out to bid in October of 2020 for a full reverse osmosis and remineralization upgrade to the Water Treatment Plant. After this new treatment system comes on line in 2021, the flow from our new well can be increased and provide a larger percentage of the city’s water supply.

What Does That Mean for the Flavor?

The new well is in a completely separate aquifer than the current supply and will result in some changes to the taste of City water. There are many factors that influence the flavor of City water, not the least of which are your own personal preferences. Throughout this process, our team at the Water Treatment Plant will continue to ensure that the water is safe and reliable. Full water quality reports can be found here.

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