The finish line is in sight for the City of Island City’s $2.9 million water system upgrade project.

All of the project’s work has been completed except for upgrades of the well on Walton Road, the city’s recorder, Karen Howton, said at a meeting of the city council Monday night.

The necessary work on the Walton Road well involves replacing pumps in the well and upgrading its electrical systems. The well is not being used now because the city’s new well, located on McAlister Road, is fully operational. The McAlister Road well, completed about 1-1/2 years ago, was installed as part of Island City’s water improvement project. The new well, named Well #5, is now providing Island City with all of its water. The 520-foot well provides water for a 760,000-gallon welded steel reservoir at the site.

The Walton Road well, named Well #4, is serving as a backup for the city until it is upgraded.

“It is now offline, but if there were a major emergency we could use it,” Howton said.

Mayor Delmer Hanson said the upgrade of the Walton Road well should be finished in six months, possibly sooner. He said the upgrade has been delayed by a shortage of electricians available to work on the project.

O nce the upgrades of Well #4 are completed, the city will be using it regularly along with Well #5. Hanson said having two wells operating at the same time will put the city in a better position to accommodate the needs of a growing population in the future.

Well work is just a portion of the water system improvement project. Aging water pipes and the installation of new pipelines and routes in the north portion of Island City also has been done as part of the project.

The water system upgrade project is being funded by a $2.9 million loan from the USDA.

See more in Wednesday's edition of The Observer.