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The Athens Municipal Water Authority Board of Directors took action on Friday to push along construction of a new well that has been in the discussion stages for several years.

After an executive session to talk to their attorney about some related issues, the board authorized S.D. Kallman, L.P. Engineers to advertise for bids to construct Powder River Well No. 1. In addition, they authorized Executive Director Ed Gatlin to execute a new easement agreement with Powder River Ranch.

Also at the meeting, bids were approved to build a new access road to connect the well to County Road 4706 and to construct the well pad. The well pad gives workers a secure place to stand when at the well site and also helps keep out surface water.

Powder River Well No. 1 has been in the planning stages for several years, with AMWA laying the groundwork to build the structure that will provide about 1,000 gallons-per-minute for the water supply.

Over the past few years, AMWA has drilled eight test wells on properties off Farm-to-Market Road 2495 to give Athens a potential water supply for decades. The wells were planned for contingency in the event of a severe drought. Each new well can be completed and brought into the system as needed.

Water from the new well will not have to run through the water treatment plant to be used, but can tie directly into the Athens water system.

AMWA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1957. It became a municipal utility district in 1979. Its main function is to supply drinking water for the city of Athens. For years. that solely meant water drawn from Lake Athens. In recent years, however, AMWA has introduced well water into the system.

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