A test well installed at Fort McCoy in mid-May will
provide data to determine the course of a number of future projects.
Mandy Radloff, the chief of the Fort McCoy Environmental Compliance
Branch of the Environmental Division, said the Environmental Division
worked with the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey to
install the well and investigate the geothermal properties of
groundwater 1,000 feet below the ground surface. The well was installed
by the Ground Source Inc., firm of De Pere, Wis.
Employees from Ground Source,
Inc., monitor the progress of the installation of a test well at
Fort McCoy. Results from the testing will be used as input to
help the post design future projects.
(Photo by Rob Schuette)
Data from the geothermal test well will be used to
evaluate the potential for geothermal heating/cooling or even
electricity generation, Radloff said.
Personnel from the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey
received a grant and contacted Fort McCoy to conduct the test.
Radloff said the organization would rather do such projects on
government land. This avoids the appearance of favoritism of doing
the testing on private land and potentially giving a private
landowner a cost advantage over his neighbors in building a new
well, for example.
“We also used the opportunity to gather information for the
replacement of two drinking-water wells (at Fort McCoy),” Radloff
said. “This allowed us to save money, rather than do it as a
Michael Miller, Fort McCoy Water and Waste branch chief, said the
water-quality testing is separate from the annual testing required
to determine the quality and safety of drinking water.
“This testing will help us design the new wells to meet the
most-recent standards and regulations,” Miller said. “The current
wells are 70 years old and meet current drinking-water quality
standards, but laws have changed, and to keep wells current with the
new regulations, we will need new wells.”
“We will get the data from the testing over the next few months, and
begin determining what it means for future military construction
projects,” Radloff said.
After the information is obtained from the well, it will be
abandoned in accordance with all environmental regulations, Radloff
Miller said depending upon the results from the test well, the new
water wells likely will be constructed in the area at a future date.