Ongoing questions concerning Village Water System

One of the most serious questions is the still unidentified site for the proposed 2 new high capacity 12″ wells.

Requests to see the well logs following previous assertions that the previous test wells were ‘good’ have not received a response.

Today a local resident photographed new test well markers at the same location as the current wells calling into question the $35k purchase of land for the proposed alternative wellhead from Bear Lake School.

ADDITION: On November 6, 2018 a well drilling rig began another test well site within 100′ of Russell Street

The groundwater aquifer which supplies Bear Lake Village drinking water is explained here:


In October 2016, an information meeting was held for the Village of Bear Lake, it’s engineer and MDEQ to explain the rationale for seeking a $1.8m loan toward the total project cost. (Village residents $2,093,302 in loan + interest) and $2,547,000 from USDA grants.

[Note that under the terms of the USDA funding the loan funds are expended first.]

Residents had many questions which went largely unanswered.

[Excerpt: 35. QUESTIONS: as listed in the report narrative

** The planned project scope is to replace both Well 2 and Well 3 with new wells of higher capacity installed through a single new well house.

**  The ability to increase capacity will be dependent on the results of the hydrogeological study that will be compiled as part of the project design.

**  It is anticipated that the existing generator will be adequate to run at least one of the new wells and will be moved and reconnected. If the new wells require larger pump motors, a new generator may be required.

  • How do you know the aquifer has enough capacity to serve 2 new high capacity wells without damaging the supply for users in Bear Lake Township? Have you done a new aquifer pump test to determine this?
  • Why would you be proposing 2 new high capacity wells when your report states that at a time of drought, in 2010, the oldest well came close to sucking air?
  • Why, if you have read the WHP Report which identifies the vulnerability of ground water recharge to the aquifer, would you NOT enact water conservation measures?
  • If you are proposing 2 new wells to the same aquifer, why would it be necessary to move the location to school property? Where a greater lift is required, obviously resulting in greater expense? Bigger pump, more electricity costs, higher maintenance.
  • Your own report casts doubt on the data – when was the last time the pumps were calibrated? [NOTE: an independent engineer suggested checking the calibration of the pump meters to determine if they were reading correctly as the usage seemed excessive] Are you basing your flow figures on faulty data?
  • Why haven’t you pulled and cleaned both well screens?
  • Why did you abandon the original plan to replace the oldest well first and see IF the aquifer could handle increased capacity?
  • How do you plan to maintain sufficient flow through the system during months of decreased use/decreased population? Other communities in NW MI have seen significant freezing events during recent winters.
  • How do you plan to raise the ISO rating to ‘commercial’ when your own report states the new water tower, only installed a few years ago, does not meet that ISO capacity threshold? AND that increasing the size for such a small population would lead to a degradation in water taste and quality due to sitting dormant over extended periods of time.

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