Hot drain well water a mystery

A mystery bubbled to the surface in Cayman Kai when 170-degree water was found in a 73-foot drain well that was drilled last week.

The water reportedly gives off an odour and steam.

Some residents were concerned the hot water was evidence of volcanic activity, but the Department of Environment’s Scott Slaybaugh discounted that theory.

‘The idea of magma causing this is very remote,’ he said.

One better DoE theory for the hot water is that it is caused by a chemical reaction.

‘It could be an acid-base reaction,’ said Mr. Slaybaugh. ‘The wispy type of gas seen at the well would be consistent with that.’

The water has also softened the PVC pipes in the well.

‘That water isn’t hot enough to soften PVC, so it could be acid reacting with it,’ said Mr. Slaybaugh.

How acid might have gotten into the well is unknown.

The Water Authority was scheduled to conduct tests on the water Wednesday afternoon.

Water resources engineer Hendrik van Genderen also said the hot water could be coming from a chemical reaction, explaining that acid will react with limestone to create carbon dioxide and heat.

‘However the acid will eventually be used up, so the reaction will slowly fizzle out.’

Bunny Foster, who is building the condominiums on which the well is located, has future plans for the hot water.

Mr. Foster said he plans to pipe the water across the site for use in a hot tub.

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