Hull Facing Big Decisions on Well Water Issues
By Patrick Lynn
Leaders from the Town of Hull say after meeting with legal counsel on August 28, they’re ready to consider legal action against the City of Stevens Point.
Town leaders met in closed session with attorneys from Anderson O’Brien Law Firm to determine whether the city could legally be liable for the water shortage to at least 29 privately-owned wells located in Hull. According to a press release from the town, analysis from hydrologist Stephen Gaffield- who was hired by Hull earlier this year- showed, and legal counsel agreed, that Steven Point well #11 was likely to blame.
Town records show almost 40 Hull residents have either been forced to drill new, deeper wells, or experienced water pressure issues since the city’s high capacity well came online in May of 2012.
In summer of 2013 residents in Hull began to come forward with complaints about their shallow sand point wells drying up. The culprit was tough to pinpoint, according to area water specialists, because of all the variables at work, but officials in Stevens Point say their data showed the city’s new well couldn’t have affected residents in Hull, in part because the size of the aquifer was so large.
Leaders in Hull say they’re worried about the long-term effects on Hull if the city begins pumping the new well at the maximum capacity of 13 million gallons per day.
“Well #11 capacity today is limited because only 5 million gallons per day can be treated at the Stevens Point treatment plant,” Town Chairman John Holdridge said in a statement. “But that could chance overtime by increasing the capacity of the treatment plant.”
Holdirdge said the Town Board will continue to discuss its options with Anderson O’Brien, but is looking to recoup financial losses and hardship for the town’s residents.