LOWELL | Water from a quarry operation just getting underway could provide another water source option for Lowell.
With annexation of 117 acres just months away and plans for more being discussed, the Town Council has agreed it must find a water source beyond its current shallow well field to support future development.
Councilman Phillip Kuiper, D-4th, said Monday the Prairie Group, which is developing a stone quarry south of 205th Avenue, has expressed interest in working with the town.
"I think, first and foremost, we pursue a conversation with them," Kuiper said.
The quarry's water, a byproduct of the operation, would come from the same aquifer as the town's current supply, he said.
The water likely would be directed to the Kankakee River if no arrangement with the town is reached.
The council agreed to add the quarry as a third option and directed Lowell Public Works Director Greg Shook to set up a meeting with Prairie Group representatives and interested parties.
Earlier this month, the council heard from Commonwealth Engineering, which proposed infiltration trenching on the well field site as another water source. It would cost an estimated $750,000 and possibly deliver 1,200 gallons per minute.
A few years ago, Kuiper led efforts to obtain water from another quarry operation. In that case, Vulcan, the company operating the quarry, did not own the land. The landowner rejected the idea of an arrangement with Lowell.
The third option would be to draw water from a sand pit adjacent to the municipal well fields that is no longer in operation.
Shook said he met with the sand pit's owner, Ron Bergstrom, and a neighboring farmer, Charles Purkey, neither of whom rejected the idea.
Shook said it will be imperative to meet with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to learn whether the agency would consider feasible any or all of the options being pursued by the town.