,-- -- ^ -------- ^ *. ,
trying to locate
band ned wells
GREG SPEARS O A such as a farm area south of Venice
Herald Staff Writer ,.#and parts of Charlotte County,
State officials are trying to locate there has been serious damage to
all abandoned wells in Manatee the water quality caused by the
County to determine if they could mixing of underground water in old
be damaging the quality of watet wells.
hundreds of feet below the ground. Some of the bad water that disk
Some old wells, primarily arte- places good water can have higher-
sian wells used for agriculture and than-recommended concentrations
commercial purposes, are causing a of calcium sulphate. The water
deterioration of undergroundwate4 with high sulphate concentration
quality. Inside these wells poor can cause cardiovascular diseases
quality water from one level is mix- in people who have consumedit for
ing with good water from above or 20 years or more, Preedom said:
below, steadily worsening water "The problem isn't as pressing
quality in the area around the well. here (in Manatee County), but it is
One of these wells, just 20 feet critical," Presser said Thursday.
east of the municipal building in The water quality will continue to
Palmetto, was filled to the top slowly deteriorate as long as the
Thursday. It took about 700 gallons wells are not plugged, and Presser
of concrete to fill the 532-foot well, said his budget would pay to plug
but was worth the effort, according about 30 wells in Manatee and Sar-
to Kim A. Preedom, who super- asota counties during the next 12
vised the job.' months.
Preedom is project manager of i Adcording to. Fred Walker of
Quality of Water Improvement 1100 10th St., the well plugged
Program. The program, run by the Thursday in Palmetto used to sup-
Southwest Florida Water Manage- ply water to the Manatee Ice Com-
ment District (Swiftmud), has pany. Walker, who will be 90 Sept.
plugged about 140 wells in the sev- 21; said the ice company closed
en years since it began. Most of the *about 20 years ago, but had done a -
wells were in the Peace River Ba- brisk business for ,many years be-
sin, but recently the program has fore, selling ice through the city
moved into the. Manasota Water and supplying it to the railroad for
Basin in Manatee and Saraota perishable shipmeAts.
counties. Freedom said the most difficult
Freedom his assistant and a part of the program is to find the
three-man crew from Crumwell bad wells. There are no complete
Drilling of Brooksville were in Pal- surveys of where the wells are, and
metto Wednesday and Thursday to many have been capped and forgot-
fill the abandoned well next to the ten about.
municipal building at 1115 10th St. It takes about two hours to test a
W. Tests had shown water quality well. Swiftmud pays all costs, in-
in the well was poor. eluding filling the well. Freedom
Cement was injected down the said it cost about $1,600 to fill the
well under pressure through a se- well beside the municipal building
ries of pipes. As the well filled with in Palmetto.
cement, the piping was pulled up. Anyone who wants to have a well
The work began Wednesday morn- tested, or knows of an abandoned
ing, and was finished by Thursday well, should call Freedom or Jim
noon. Lavender at the Swiftmud offices
In some places, Freedom said, in Brooksville at (904) 796-7211.