The failure of a major well is not something to celebrate, but it can reveal how investments in infrastructure pay off for the city of Cottonwood.
On Sept. 3, the pump in Well 5 failed, leaving nearby residents with a potential lack of drinking water. According to the city, Well 5 produces more than 1,000 gallons of drinking water per minute.
Located on the hill at the southeast corner of S. Willard Street and State Route 89A, Well 5 is the largest producing well in the city, one of the primary sources of water for an area that extends from Pine Shadows Mobile Home Park to the Franquero neighborhood and over to Walmart. The territory also includes the Verde Valley Medical Center.
“Despite the loss of Well 5, no loss of water delivery service or reduction in pressure were reported,” Assistant to the city manager Sandra Salas stated in a press release, touting the Utilities Department’s “continuing efforts to fully integrate the water distribution system to ensure the reliability of water service.
“The decision made by the city more than 10 years ago to fully integrate the water distribution system and incorporate redundancy for backup purposes where possible has paid off countless times, but the loss of Well 5 put the city’s efforts to the test and it performed exceptionally well,” Salas said. “The city has also installed numerous backup electrical generators at wells to ensure no loss of water service even during power outages.”
According to Salas, the city is making further upgrades to “critical infrastructure,” both within and without the city limits.
“The city’s commitment to providing excellent water service applies not only to the service area within the city, but also to the Verde Village and Verde Santa Fe,” Salas said. “Similar integration and redundancy measures have been employed throughout Verde Village to ensure continued service, even with the loss of one or more wells.”
According to city manager Doug Bartosh on Sept. 11, crews encountered an electrical problem at the well but expect it to be up and running soon. As the supplier of drinking water for VVMC, it is a critical piece of infrastructure.
“They’ve got APS out there,” Bartosh said, adding that though the well is important, the city “can take this time to make sure it’s done right” because of the redundancies the city has put in place to ensure reliable water resources during emergencies.