The end may be in sight to eliminate a critical culinary water shortage that has forced Tropic residents to haul water from other areas and officials to order them to boil it.

The town is drilling a deep well on the town park, expected to replace some of the water lost when the culinary spring went dry last summer.Mayor Bob Bradley said a Salt Lake firm, Lang Exploratory Drilling, was contracted to drill the well after submitting a bid of $85,400. The bid was $57,000 below the engineer's estimate of $142,000. The well will be drilled and tested within 90 days. An additional 90 days will be allowed to get it and the system in operation.

The mayor urged residents to continue the boiling process even though a recent sample of available water passed the state test for purity. It could be another six months before the boiling order is lifted because the water must meet state safety standards for three successive tests.

Officials are negotiating with the Spring Creek Irrigation Co. to use water from that source when needed. An agreement would avoid the necessity of condemning the water for community use, the mayor said. It has been proposed that the town redevelop the company's springs and system, costing about $400,000.

It is anticipated that chlorination won't be necessary when using water from the well unless it is mixed with water from other sources.

The well likely won't be used in the winter to decrease pumping costs. The entire system will be upgraded. Water pressures will be more even throughout the community because plans call for three pressure zones.

Residents will probably see an increase in their water bills to pay for the project. The mayor said current rates are among the lowest in Utah.