The Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site in East Coulee was preparing for the upcoming season but noticed something was wrong with their plumbing.
After further inspection, their well, that has been used since the 1980's, has given up the ghost. Dr. Sarah Newstead of the Atlas Coal Mine thinks this may be a result of the floods of last year. "We just got news yesterday (Monday) that we are going to have to replace the well out here. We first starting having problems with the well last year when we had the big flood of our basement."
The well was built with a metal casing and it has eroded away. "It seems as though the metal casing on our well has disintegrated due to the sodium in the water out here and unfortunately that means that we will have to dig a new well," explained Newstead.
The lifespan of the well would have been longer if a different material was used. "If it had been a plastic casing when it was put in, it would still be ok. The new well that we are going to have to dig here is going to have a plastic casing so it will have a longer life," comments Newstead.
The option to tie into the Town of Drumheller's water line is not possible as the water line is on the other side of the Red Deer River. The Atlas is now in fundraising mode trying to raise approximately 15,000 dollars to replace the well. Newstead hopes to have a new well before the majority of tourists arrive in May.