Cedar Rapids Wells/Water Line

Cedar Rapids Wells/Water Line


The City needed to increase its water supply because of increasing population and expanding commercial/industrial development. An economical and environmentally sensitive pair of radial horizontal collector wells was selected for the water system expansion.


Horizontal wells were chosen instead of vertical wells for lower operation and maintenance costs. The total capacity of two horizontal wells equals fifteen vertical. The U.S. Geologic Survey provided a corridor study to locate the aquifer and Shive-Hattery completed a hydrogeological investigation to estimate the aquifer's capacity and quality before the wells were designed. Because the well pump house is at a remote site, the equipment had to be redundant, long-life, simple and provide remote monitoring and control. The system can pump water to either of two water treatment plants. Surge protection using automatic valves was installed to accommodate the water plant which was 130 feet higher than the pump house.

A nine-acre wetland was also developed to mitigate the impact of this project on existing wetlands. During the process, a computer model of the Cedar River was developed to determine the impact of well houses in 100-, 300-and 500-year floods for a mitigation permit from the Corps of Engineers for construction within a wetland.


The two wells produced a total of 17.4 million gallons per day and had a huge impact on serving the residents of Cedar Rapids.

  • Seven vertical water supply wells
  • A 600-foot river crossing
  • 6,000 feet, ranging from 10 to 30 diameter, raw water collection main
  • 9,000 feet of raw water transmission line
  • 10,000 lineal feet of power and control cables for a well field expansion
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