Questions about Alcoa’s water wells and specifics on the water permit
Q: Why did Alcoa send certified letters to more than 11,000 property owners in Jackson County?
Alcoa mailed the letters to comply with a requirement that all property owners in Jackson County and all well owners within five miles of the well field be notified that Alcoa is applying for a transport permit from the Texana Groundwater Conservation District (TGCD) to continue to transport groundwater from its water wells in Jackson County to our Point Comfort plant in Calhoun County, as we have lawfully been doing for the last 60 years or so.
Q: Where are the Alcoa water wells located?
The Alcoa well field has operated since the late 1940’s on approximately 330 acres of Alcoa-owned property in Jackson County. The property is located near the intersection of State Highway 35 and State Highway 172.
Q: How many wells does Alcoa operate?
Alcoa owns and operates five wells.
Q: How far does Alcoa transport the water?
The wells are approximately nine miles from the Alcoa Point Comfort Operations facility. Groundwater is transported from the well field to the plant by an underground pipeline constructed of cast iron and cement that ranges in size from 8-inches to 24-inches in diameter.
Q: Why did Alcoa drill the wells in Jackson County?
Alcoa developed the wells to supply fresh water to the plant in the late 1940’s. The groundwater near the Alcoa plant is not suitable to use for drinking water or industrial use because it is too salty. The well field in Jackson County was the nearest source of available fresh water at the time Alcoa constructed the plant in 1949.
Q: How much water does Alcoa transport from the wells?
The facility uses an average production of 1,525 acre feet per year of water from the well field, based on data from 1950 to 2010. An Acre-foot means the amount of water necessary to cover one acre of land one foot deep, or 325,851 U.S. gallons of water.
Alcoa is requesting a maximum production of 3,302 acre feet of groundwater per year from the well field based on the highest amount of water used by the facility during the period authorized by TGCD’s rules.
Q: How do I make sure I receive information on when the public hearing will be held? I don’t receive the Jackson Herald Tribune.
The public hearing date will be set by the Texana Groundwater Conservation District. For technical questions about the permitting or the hearing process, please contact the Texana Groundwater Conservation District.