County project leads to 181-foot-deep mistake

Updated: 08/22/2014 10:14 PM | Created: 08/22/2014 8:48 PM
By: Ryan Luby, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A Torrance County property owner arrived home to find drillers on one of his properties without his permission.

"Whoever numbskull sat there and said, 'hey, drill a well here.' That guy needs to be responsible," Justin Williams said.

The family learned that Torrance County needed water in one of its fire stations along Madrid Avenue, east of Highway 41.  The fire station is next to the Williams property.

"When my dad told him, 'Hey, you know this is my property,' he ended up stopping," Williams said of the well driller, Sandia Well Service.

But he didn't stop soon enough; the well still extends to a depth of 181 feet, he said.

Given the nature of what happened, Williams initially wondered if the project had its permits.

KOB contacted state engineers who located the permits.  They were surprised to learn of the drilling error.

Initially, the Williams family said Sandia Well Service offered to have the well filled.  They said the county also offered to pass a variance that would keep the well -- even incomplete -- compliant with county code.

"If I was to do this, to go -- if I was to come from [my] property and go to that guy's property, and drill a well on his property, I would be arrested," Williams said.

After KOB began to ask questions about the situation on Thursday, Sandia Well Service agreed to finish the well at a nominal expense to the Williams family.  Initially, the family said the company would complete the well at a cost of about $3,800.

Torrance County leaders said they needed a new well at the fire station after the last one went dry.

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