Wynstone’s Well Wishes

May 6, 2010

Located among the rolling hills and wetlands of Northern Illinois, Wynstone is an upscale, private community centered on a Jack Nicklaus-crafted golf course. The community’s water and wastewater services are both managed by the Wynstone Property Owners Assn. and serve approximately 400 taps and 1,300 residents. Since 1991, Layne has played a key role in providing Wynstone with vital water supplies, having constructed a 1,320-ft well in 1992 and a 1,332-ft well in 2000. A planned expansion sought to add backup capacity and to retire less productive and poorer quality shallow wells. The preferred site for a new well was in a very small community park surrounded by multi-million-dollar homes.

To minimize impact on nearby residences, the association wanted to avoid surface discharge of water and drilling fluids. The handling of backwash from the softening of the well’s produced water represented another concern. The plan was to send waste brine from backwash cycles to the association’s residential wastewater treatment plant. Because the community’s treated wastewater is used for irrigation on the golf course, the association required that any backwash discharge from treatment of the well water be sodium free.

Wish Granted

The challenge was to construct a deep well in a confined space with no discharge and with an environmentally sound treatment scheme. To satisfy all of these conditions, the association approached Layne Christensen Co.’s office in Aurora, Ill., to design the well and to determine the feasibility of the proposed site.

Layne was able to construct a well and treatment plant that satisfied all of the association’s requirements. As with Layne’s previously constructed wells, the new supply involved constructing a well that targeted the porous, water-rich sandstone of the Ironton Galesville aquifer. The 16-in.-diameter, 1,340-ft well is cased to a depth of 1,172 ft, and designed to produce yields of 850 to 900 gal per minute of drinking water.

As a treatment consideration, the Ironton Galesville aquifer has radium levels above the current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency limits for radium 226 and radium 228, and also occasionally has levels of barium that exceed the limit of 2.0 parts per million. In conjunction with its engineer, Wynstone identified ion exchange as a technology that would provide not only the barium and radium removal, but also offer soft water to their community.

Sustainable Softness

Layne provided an ion exchange system consisting of three 6-ft-diameter softener vessels and a brine maker that prevented manual handling of bagged potassium chloride salt by enabled bulk deliveries. The treatment plant regenerates with brine made from potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride because some of the treated wastewater is used for golf course irrigation. The ion exchange system has been in operation since December 2007.

"Layne has always provided services above and beyond our expectations," said Chuck Lehmann, manager of public works for Wynstone Water Co. “The client is pleased with the well and that Layne was able to perform all construction with minimal disruption to the community. Well no. 6 was successfully completed, and the project concluded with zero discharge of water or drilling fluids. The ion exchange plant has been making barium- and radium-compliant water with automated controls to minimize the operator attention needed for treatment.”

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