North Well FAQ

Project Overview

Western Municipal Water District is dedicated to finding local water sources to provide safe and reliable water for our customers. We serve an area where droughts are a regional reality. Without many local water sources, we have been relying on more expensive imported water.

To best serve our Murrieta customers, we are reestablishing a well site at the corner of Vineyard Parkway and Kentucky Derby Way. The North Well will replace an older well on the same site that we decommissioned in 2017 because the infrastructure no longer met our standards. The quality of the groundwater remains high, so the new well will provide a critical local water source for our Murrieta customers.

What will you do with the money saved from not purchasing imported water?

Since taking the old well offline, Western has been spending more to purchase the imported water we need for our Murrieta customers. The money we no longer spend on imported water will be reallocated to safeguard the reliability of our systems including maintenance, upgrades, equipment and infrastructure.

The savings will also help us keep rates stable because less water coming to Murrieta will travel from Northern California. Securing water closer to home is more cost-effective and drought-resilient.  

Why do we need the new well?

North Well will help us maintain a new local water source for our Murrieta customers. Local water is cheaper because it does not have to travel as far, and it takes less equipment (i.e. – pipes and pumps) to get to our customers. Additionally, because the well will be operated by Western Municipal Water District, we can implement our own plan for its responsible usage and drought preparation, so ultimately, Murrieta’s water supply will be more reliable.

After North Well is in service, we expect it to produce up to 750 gallons of water per minute or 1.08 million gallons per day. This is water that we would otherwise have to purchase at a more expensive rate.

How am I going to benefit from North Well? 

The new well will provide water from Murrieta’s water basin to our Murrieta customers exclusively. By adding this local water source to our portfolio, we will be better able to keep rates stable and prepare for our region’s perma-drought conditions. 

What are the environmental implications of North Well?

We are recycling and repurposing all possible materials from the decommissioned well, and we are complying with all environmental and safety regulations during construction of the new well. No adverse environmental implications are anticipated during the construction or ongoing service of North Well.

I have my own well on my property. Will North Well impact my water supply?

No. The amount of water pumped by North Well is not expected to affect other wells in the area.

Why do you have to drill for 24-hours a day? 

During all drilling projects, it is dangerous to stop drilling once you begin because the walls of the well could cave in. Unfortunately, this means that our workhours are expected to be 24-hours for specific timeframes during construction. We are proactively installing sound dampening walls around the construction site to minimize as much sound as possible. We do understand that no matter what precautions we take, noise is an inevitable and inconvenient part of this project.

We will let residents know as far in advance as we can, and we have committed to completing the project efficiently and safely.

Aren’t there regulations that limit noise at night? 

There are city ordinances that restrict residential noise; however, as a public agency, we are exempt from these regulations. Much like construction crews are able to conduct roadwork at night, Western has the ability to work 24-hours to complete necessary construction projects.

In the case of drilling wells, it is not feasible to avoid periods of 24-hour construction. The safety of crews and the integrity of the well would be at risk if drilling were to stop during key points of the project.

We will alert impacted residents about these drilling periods, and requests for accommodations can be directed to outreach@wmwd.com.

Why are you drilling now? 

Our construction plan was scheduled to take advantage of the longer summer daylight hours and to avoid 24-hour drilling during the school year and holidays. Recognizing that such drilling work will never be convenient, we purposely aimed to complete the project before school is back in session.

When will the project be done?

Drilling is expected to be completed in the summer of 2019. After completing our quality protocols and testing, North Well is scheduled to be online in the spring of 2020.

Who should I contact if I have questions or concerns?

Please contact our Strategic Communications Department with questions or concerns about this project.