WOODS CROSS — A recent environmental study that evaluated the impacts of a new culinary water well in Woods Cross appears to give the go-ahead for the city to begin designing a $5 million well.

The report, completed by JUB Engineers, investigated potential impacts of a new well, but found no impacts that could keep a new well from being drilled.

Woods Cross expects to need at least seven wells to accommodate drinking water needs for its expected population of 11,000 residents.

The current population is about 9,800.

Of the four wells Woods Cross owns, only two — wells 3 and 4 — are currently operational.

City manager Gary Uresk called well 4 the city's "workhorse" well, which pumps most of the city's drinking water.

Uresk said the city has always planned to drill a fifth well and that a contaminated groundwater plume, which was added to the National Priorities List in September, likely speeded up the process.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's designation made the plume the 14th active Superfund site in Utah.

The contaminated groundwater plume in Bountiful led to the closure of two drinking water wells in Woods Cross — one that was forced to be shut down and one the city opted to close when levels of PCE, or tetrachloroethylene, continued to rise after it was detected.

PCE, a chemical found in dry cleaning operations, can cause dizziness, headaches, sleepiness, confusion, nausea, difficulty in speaking and walking, unconsciousness and death if concentrations are too high in closed, poorly ventilated areas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Irritation may result from repeated or extended skin contact, and it is suspected to cause cancer, the CDC states.

The environmental report states that the new well is expected to pump 1,000 gallons a minute and will be housed in a 15-by-15-foot pump house.

The pump house is expected to eliminate any noise from the well, which will run at night to take advantage of cheaper electric rates, Uresk said.

Uresk said the most favorable of four possible locations at Woods Cross' Mills Park is likely a spot near the north parking lot on the northern edge of the park — a spot that should have no impact on recreation at the park.

The city expects to bond for the well through a low-interest federal loan and to have the well drilled and operational by 2010.

Woods Cross recently voted to increase city water rates from $9 a month to $14.65 to help pay for various water projects, including the new well and the construction of water lines and a 3.1 million-gallon storage tank.

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