OKLAHOMA CITY - A Panhandle town received a six-figure state grant Tuesday to rehabilitate a faulty water well.
The Oklahoma Water Resources Board awarded Optima a $126,250 Rural Economic Action Plan (REAP) grant for the project. The announcement was issued by J.D. Strong, executive director of the state agency.
Optima, a Texas County community of about 350 population, receives its drinking water from three wells. Because of aging, several components of the wells have begun to fail, Envirotech Engineering and Consultants from Enid informed the Water Board.
The town completed an engineering evaluation of its entire water system and plans to upgrade the system in phases, officials said.
The improvement will begin with replacement of the 50-horsepower turbine pump at water well #1 with a submersible pump. The pump and its motor "have plagued the town with repairs," Envirotech reported. For example, a $20,000 overhaul of the well was performed about three years ago "and now it needs another rebuild."
The renovations will include reworking the well screen and upgrading the supervisory control and data acquisition system, too.
Joe Freeman, chief of the Water Board's Financial Assistance Division, calculated that the REAP grant will save Optima residents an estimated $227,250 in principal and interest charges, by not having to borrow the funds.
"We thank state Sen. Bryce Marlatt and state Rep. Gus Blackwell for their support of the REAP program," Strong said.
Since 1983 the Water Resources Board has approved more than $3 billion in loans and grants - including more than $52 million in REAP grants - for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements throughout Oklahoma.