It has been a much talked about topic on social media and around town, but the Mineral Wells Park pond remains a grassy hole. During a recent city council work shop, council members heard preliminary alternative ways to fill the pond back up.
The highly visible pond along Division Street dried up for the second consecutive year. However, this year the pond has not been able to fill back up like it did in 2011 due to the lack of rain.
There have been numerous suggestions from residents such as digging out the pond deeper to hold more water and the suggestion of using the water treatment plant to fill the pond.
According to staff, the bottom of the pond is filled with sludge from the old waste water plant and would be concerns of digging into it. Sludge is semi-solid material left from industrial wastewater, or sewage treatment processes. It can also refer to the settled suspension obtained from conventional drinking water treatment,and numerous other industrial processes.
Bill Myers, with Myers Engineering, talked with city staff and gave them three alternatives to fill the municipal pond along with estimated costs.
The first option would require an estimated $18,000 to tap the pond with a tapping saddle and ductile iron pipe discharging raw water. Myers said it would take 25 hours over five weeks at six hours per night to fill the pond and afterwards drill a well to maintain the proper levels.
The second option would to install a pump station on the Cottonwood Creek. That would require a pump station with a concrete wet well, pipe to go under tracks and run 1,000 feet of pipe to the pond. The cost is estimated at about $56,000.
The third alternative given is to drill a well near the Wastewater Treatment plant near the Cimmaron River and run the correct piping for nearly four miles. Total cost estimated at $1.15 million.
City Manager Sereniah Breland says while there is no room in the budget to fund the project she is going over creative scenarios to fund the project through the private sector.
The council will have continued talks when they meet again later this month at the next council workshop.