Press release: American Water granted permission to drill second well

CLOVIS, N.M. (Aug. 19, 2010) – New Mexico American Water and its contractors on the Lower Dockum Exploratory Deep Well project have received permission from the Office of State Engineer to drill a second well near the site of the first well, which failed due to technical difficulties.

“Our job is to make sure there is a reliable long-term water supply for Clovis,” said New Mexico American Water Vice President Daniel Bailet. “The Lower Dockum Formation may be part of the solution for us.”

The first exploratory deep well failed in August due to difficulties associated with construction efforts. Conditions deep underground caused cement to cure prematurely in one of the zones targeted for water testing. This would have compromised the company’s ability to determine the production and quality characteristics at that depth and reduce the effectiveness of the well for researching water productivity. Costs associated with the second well will be borne by the contractors involved, not by ratepayers.

“This is the first time the Lower Dockum has been explored in this region and Mother Nature threw us a curveball,” Bailet said. “Our timeline is set back several weeks but the contractors will pick up the additional costs.”

New Mexico American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and related services to approximately 60,000 people.

Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 16 million people in 35 states, as well as Ontario and Manitoba, Canada. More information can be found by visiting