An Update From Hastings Utilities with Marty Stange

An Update From Hastings Utilities with Marty Stange

Thursday, October 28, 2021
The Hastings Aquifer Storage and Restoration (ASR) Project continues to meet several milestones in providing a secured source of potable water for the City of Hastings and its wholesale customers. The wholesale customers include the Village of Trumbull, Clay County SID #1 and the Hastings Regional Center. The continued success of the ASR Project not only benefits the drinking water public but it is essential for sustaining our regional economic viability.  

The most recent addition to the ASR project was the addition of four injection wells and associated water transmission mains. This project extended water transmission mains across the Hastings Regional Airport. These mains connect four injection wells located north and west of the Airport to the ASR system. These additional injection wells will provide potable water to six existing municipal wells.

Since beginning the ASR operations in May 2018, over four billion gallons of water have been injected into the aquifer. The City of Hastings in the last 10 years has used an average of 2.345 billion gallons of water annually. The four billion gallons represents less than two years of annual water consumption. To put this into perspective, an annual water consumption of 2.345 billion gallons is equivalent to 6.8 inches of water applied over the entire water service area of 12,593 acres. This includes all domestic irrigation, industrial, commercial, domestic potable water, fire fighting, food processing, and meat packing that consume potable water.

It was predicted that Municipal Well 22 would be the first well to see treated water from the ASR System. On August 2, just three months after starting the injection of treated water, a sample was collected from Well 22 and it showed a 2.2 mg/l reduction in nitrate concentration.  

The modeling predicted it would take six months. 

The decrease in time of travel has allowed the water operators to implement a plan to decrease the travel time for clean water to intercept several existing municipal wells. The plan uses the existing municipal wells as extraction wells. The water produced by the extraction well is sent to the ASR facility for treatment and returned to the aquifer via the injection wells. The use of the municipal well as an extraction well in essence is pulling water from the injection well downstream to allow clean water to move faster into the municipal well field.  The municipal wells used for extraction wells are high in nitrates and uranium and had been shut down. This allows these wells to be cleaned up faster and reduces the need for additional capital investments.  

Municipal Well 26 located at the west end of Lake Hastings has reduced was used as an extraction well. Its nitrate levels have dropped from 11 mg/l (Maximum Contaminate Level for potable water is 10 mg/l) to 7.2 mg/l. This well has been returned to Municipal Service as of July 2021.

Municipal Well 35 located west of the Hastings Airport and southeast of the Hastings Solar Field was used as an extraction well. The nitrate levels have reduced from 14.4 mg/l to 7.7 mg/l.  It will be returned to Municipal Service once the accelerated flushing is completed.

Well 23 is currently being used as an extraction well. This well is located down gradient of Well 35. Nitrate levels of 12.1 mg/l were noted July 2021.

A new project to inject treated water directly into Well 33 is being considered to extend the useful life. This would be a conventional Aquifer Storage and Recover project in lieu of the Aquifer Storage and Restoration project being used for the City Well Field. Pilot testing is expected to begin later this year.

The success of this ASR Project is in part due to the willingness of well owners and operators located within the Hastings Wellhead Protection Area to allow water sampling of their wells.  Their assistance is greatly appreciated. 

The information obtained by the water sampling allows Hastings to optimize the ASR operations and to minimize capital improvements. The continued access to the sampling of irrigation and domestic wells is essential to protecting the drinking water for people served by the Hastings Water System. Additionally, the information is provided to the well owner/operator at no cost. We encourage anyone not getting their wells tested to reconsider, as it provides necessary information to protect the public. Please consider allowing testing of your wells as it is a civic responsibility in protecting the drinking water for future generations.