Nacogdoches customers consider drilling their own wells to save money and water

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) – Starting Thursday water rates are going up for Nacogdoches residents and irrigation account holders.  Stage 2 of the city's drought conservation plan is underway.

In anticipation of the changes, at least two high water usage customers are considering drilling their own water wells.  The idea may work to save money and water.

Nacogdoches Independent School District and Stephen F. Austin State University are researching the feasibility of drilling water wells for irrigation purposes only.  "By drilling it at the high school and connecting our athletic fields we think we can conserve about 60% of our total use," said Chris Davis, NISD Director of Plant Services.

In the summer it takes as much as 1/4 inch a water a day to keep football fields green. That means about 18,000 gallons of water is used every day at NISD. The usage adds up quickly.

At SFA, a watering schedule keeps the Azalea Garden and other grounds alive for visitors' enjoyment.  The University already practices water conservation methods.  A 400 foot water well is expected to produce not less than 40 gallons per minute.

Business is good for well drillers.  Cities to individuals are drilling water wells as a way to cope with the drought.  The demand is place on underground aquifers.

Business is good for well drillers.  Cities to individuals are drilling water wells as a way to cope with the drought.  The demand is place on underground aquifers.  "Every straw we put in the ground in the water table affects the water table level. We're very fortunate in East Texas to have the Carrizo Wilcox Aquifer that we pull water from for our groundwater resources and right now it's in very good shape compared to our lakes for example. So, we're pretty comfortable those will be minor impacts to the groundwater," Steve Bartlett, city engineer.

As water tables are affected, so will be city coffers.  The less water used and the more wells drilled means fewer water bills going out and less revenue coming in.

Residential customers can also apply for well permits, but Nacogdoches city dwellers must still rely on the city's treated water for household use.

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