LA CRESCENTA — A well beneath Dunsmore Elementary School didn’t make a splash, so Glendale Water & Power is dropping it for a hole at Oakmont Country Club.
In an effort to tap into local groundwater resources, Water & Power crews began drilling on the southwest section of the school’s playground, near Lauderdale Avenue, on Monday, Glendale Water & Power water engineer Raja Takidin said.
A 5-inch-diameter hole was drilled 400 feet into the ground as geologists and crew members tapped into the Verdugo groundwater basin beneath the site, he said.
“So far, it’s not looking like we can convert it to production,” said Raja Takidin, water engineer with Glendale Water & Power. “It’s too early to tell right now. But so far, the indication is that it is not going to be at that level we were thinking.”
So Glendale Water & Power’s next move is going to Oakmont Country Club, Takidin said, where they will drill a similar pilot well in their quest to add more water to the city’s supply.
“It’s going to be out of the way of the golfers,” he said.
A representative from Oakmont Country Club could not be reached for comment.
Country club member Paul Crossland said he did not know about the proposed pilot well, an artesian aquifer at Oakmont proves there is ample water under the golf course.
“The groundwater comes right out,” he said. “The pressure comes right up
an artesian well is when pressure of a well is such that the water bubbles up over ground level. The pressure comes up and comes out. The pressure is so great they just cap it.”
The well is fenced in by the 10th hole, near the 11th tee, on the southeast side of the golf course, he said.
The well has been there for more than 50 years, and all the golfers know about it, he said. So it comes as no surprise that Glendale Water & Power might want to tap into that source, he said.
“It represents a very nice source for us if we ever need that water,” he said.
And that need is why Water & Power officials are planning to drill a test well, Takidin said.
“The water situation is not looking good,” he said. “So we’re looking to utilize the local resource.”
Takidin did not say where the pilot well will be drilled at Oakmont, but it will not be intrusive.
Glendale Unified School District Supt. Michael Escalante said the district agreed to the pilot well at Dunsmore because it would not be intrusive.
“It had very little impact on the school, and we were doing it in efforts to help the city,” he said.
After Water & Power clears out of the school’s playground, by the end of the month, a capped hole on the ground level will be the only remnant of the test well, Takidin said.
But the Dunsmore drill wasn’t a complete washout, he said.
“We’ll keep it as a monitoring well, to monitor the water quality, depth of water,” Takidin said. “It’s a good source of information for us so we can monitor the groundwater table.”
Drilling on the playground also yielded geophysical data of the Verdugo groundwater basin under the La Crescenta area, he said. Basically, the water was deeper than they thought, he said.
Before Dunsmore, Glendale Water & Power used five water pumps around the city — two at Verdugo Park and three at Glorietta Park — to siphon water out of the Verdugo groundwater basin.
A well has to yield at least 150 to 200 gallons per minute to be considered feasible and be converted into a production facility, Takidin said.
“But it looks like it’s much less than that,” he said.
The Crescenta Valley Water District and Glendale Water & Power are the two water agencies that have jurisdictional rights to the Verdugo basin.
The two agencies are allowed to extract a combined 7,150 acre-feet per year from the basin. An acre-foot is enough water to cover a level, 1-acre surface to the depth of 1 foot, or 325,853.4 gallons — which is also enough water to serve two families for a year.
The Crescenta Valley District takes 3,294 acre-feet per year from the basin, which is the total amount it is allowed to take, officials said.
But Glendale Water & Power extracts only about 2,500 acre-feet per year of the 3,856 acre feet it is allowed, Takidin said.