ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4/ KDXU) – While the Virgin River is Washington County’s primary source of water, St. George city leaders say it also has several wells that supply drinking and culinary water for residents. Now, city leaders are working to secure another permit, to ensure water security as the population is growing.

The City of St. George buys about 70% of its water from the Washington County Water Conservancy District, but the other 30% is sourced by ground water wells or natural springs.

Scott Taylor is the Water Services Director for the City of St. George. He says there are water wells near the Gunlock area, Snow Canyon State Park and other secluded areas.

“We’ve got various well fills throughout the area with probably 25 to 27 wells,” he says.

He says the city is working to secure a permit for another ground water well.

“A back-up well for our entire system, so if we had a well that goes down, this one would take its place while we’re able to get it back in service,” he says.

Taylor says several of the wells were idled for about 20 years, to follow EPA standards in regards to arsenic levels in drinking water. Just this spring, the city commissioned the new Gunlock Water Treatment Plant, to remove the arsenic and to keep up with the growing population.

“We got surface water and we got ground water; so we tap into the ground water, it’s just another source of water, we have to make sure we don’t overdraft the groundwater aquifer so we keep records on how much water we pump out of it and the level of the water in the aquifers so we’re really careful not to overdraft or not to mine the water,” says Taylor.

Taylor says while these wells are an additional form of water security, residents still need to be mindful of their usage, as the city uses about 70% of surface water from the Washington County Water Conservancy District.

For Jordan Verdadeiro's full broadcast piece, click here.

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