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THE KANSAS LIFELINE

July 2018

By Paul Froelich, KRWA President 

t seems that we have jumped from winter straight into

summer. Most of Kansas has been experiencing above

normal temperatures and below normal precipitation.

The city of Enterprise where I am superintendent of

utilities, has been blessed with two very stable wells that

have consistently produced all the water for the city without

any adverse effects during this or past

droughts. Past history does not mean

that we can just ignore the fact that

Kansas is  in a drought. Recently

Enterprise installed a pressure

transducer in the bottom of one of the

city's wells so that water levels can be

logged on a continuous basis. The data

is recorded in a data logger.

Enterprise's wells are only one-quarter

mile apart so the sensor also captures

the influence on the water table when

either well pumps.

The real purpose of the sensor was

not necessarily to capture what effect the wells have on

each other but to obtain the total picture of the water table

in the well field and what effect the six nearby center pivot

irrigation rigs have on the city's wells. As the corn is

growing we will soon see the center pivots running. I am

interested to see the data of the water levels  after the

irrigation wells start pumping.

It has already been interesting to see what effect the

Smoky Hill River has on the city's

wells. The well field is slightly

more that two miles from the river.

There was rain upstream in early

May. The river came up six feet for

about 24 hours. We saw a two

percent (2%) increase in the water

table elevation at the city's well

field. The good thing is that this

demonstrates that we can have a

rapid recharge of the well field if

significant rain falls upstream.

Permits to develop water rights

are becoming difficult to obtain,

especially in certain aquifers in the state. As stewards of

public water, we owe it to our customers to be responsible

and proactive in the management of our well fields and our

water rights. Public water systems need to work with our

agri-producers as there is only a finite amount of water to

go around.   

Communication pays  . . .

I was speaking with a local farmer who was installing

two new center pivots just across the road from our wells.

He will operate the two pivots from one common well. The

farmer actually lives nearly twenty-five miles from this

field and will likely not be in the area to stop the operation

of the irrigation wells if we were to receive significant rain.

I asked him if it was possible to have a sensor installed that

I

As stewards of public

water, we owe it to our

customers to be

responsible and proactive

in the management 

of our well fields and our

water rights. 

Signs and Markers

for the Utility & Pipeline Industry

CALL 918-446-1916

9710 W. 65th St. So.

Sapulpa, OK 74066-8852

Fax: 918-446-2770

Rural Water Specialty Co.