Engineer recommends wells

Well water, rather than river water, will be the best bet to meet growing needs, engineers told the Fort Dodge City Council Monday.

Derick Anderson, the northwest market president for McClure Engineering Co. in Fort Dodge, recommended that the city take advantage of a proposed state rule that would allow it to draw more water from a water-bearing rock formation called the Jordan Aquifer.

The staff of McClure Engineering had previously encouraged city leaders to consider the possibility of improving the Hydroelectric Dam on the Des Moines River so that it would hold back water that could be taken to supplement the water supply. That was before the new Jordan Aquifer proposal became known.

Anderson said Monday that drilling more wells would be a more cost-effective way to get more water.

He added that the city should consider getting money from the state to remove the dam.

Chad Schaeffer, the city’s director of engineering, business affairs and community growth, said Fort Dodge is eligible for $2.7 million which could be used to remove the dam.

”There’s nobody in my ward that would go along with the removal of the dam,” said Councilman Mark Taylor, who represents Ward 1.

Although engineering studies have shown there’s no feasible way to place the long-dormant dam back in electric production, Councilman Don Wilson raised that possibility.

”How high does electricity have to go before we restart it?” he asked.

The council took no action on the dams or on additional wells. The city faces a July 19 deadline for applying for the money to remove the dam.