Dr. Darrell Long, who plans to build a high-capacity well on land he owns near Copper Creek in Utica Township, may move forward on drilling a test well in the next few weeks, according to a story in the Wisconsin State Journal on Monday, Jan. 16.
Long, a resident of Lima, Ohio, could not be reached earlier this week for comment on his current plans for drilling a test well.
Lawrence Lynch, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources hydrogeologist in charge of the permit application approval process, said that he was unaware of any planned drilling.
“I have not heard from Dr. Long or his driller since late October. I did inform them that we need at least a couple of weeks notice to coordinate the drilling with the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey,” Lynch said.
Long said he’ll abide by the test results, according to the story in Monday’s Wisconsin State Journal.
“If I can’t take water out without hurting neighbors’ wells and the trout stream, I’ll abandon the well,” Long told Wisconsin State Journal reporter Doug Erickson.
The proposed well’s pending conditions cap pumping rates at 100,000 gallons per day during the summer and 250,000 per day the rest of the year. The proposed conditions also limit shipping of water to 80 miles and prohibit bottling of water for non-emergency use or non-bulk water sales.
Long has recently spoken of bottling water for retail sale, but would be required to apply for a new permit in order to do so, according to Lynch.
In addition, if the well is permitted, Long would still need to apply to Utica Township for either rezoning or a conditional use permit for the property before he could sell water from the well.
Save Copper Creek, an all-volunteer group organized in opposition to the proposed high-capacity well, plans to have any findings from the test well independently reviewed by their scientific and legal advisors.
“We will be looking carefully at the findings from the test well to make sure they accurately reflect the effects the well will have on our groundwater,” said Bob Van Hoesen, the administrative coordinator at SCC.