Recent Rains Have Helped, but Santa Barbara Remains in Drought Emergency

Rain poured on Santa Barbara a week ago, and more is expected later this week, but the city of Santa Barbara wants residents to remember one thing: “The city remains in a drought emergency,” said Kelley Dyer, water supply manager.
So far this water year, the city is ahead of the previous year.
Gibraltar Reservoir has received 15 inches of rain; Lake Cachuma has gotten 11 inches and 10 inches have fallen on downtown Santa Barbara.
“We are hoping for additional storms to come our way.” City residents are using the same amount of water today that they did in 1958, when the population was half of what it is today.
Santa Barbara residents conserved by 30 percent in December and conserved by 29 percent year over year.
Trhe city is in the eighth consecutive year of the drought.
The prior seven years are the driest years on record.
Dyer said that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts a chance of a weak El Niño developing during the winter of 2019, so conservation remains a top priority.
“We’re still in a drought,” Dyer said.
"We’re in really good hands with your carefull planning," Sneddon said.

Laguna Beach City Council expected to affirm commitment to water quality improvement

LAGUNA BEACH — City officials on Tuesday, Jan. 22, are expected to approve a resolution to increase the city’s vigilance in protecting the ocean from urban runoff.
The City Council will review a resolution that follows guidelines established by the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board to improve water quality along Laguna’s coastline by monitoring runoff that comes from inland communities.
To meet the permit requirements, Laguna Beach must adopt regulations to prevent polluted runoff, implement programs that promote architectural features that reduce runoff from new development, inspect existing developments and construction sites for runoff pollution and educate the public on how to reduce runoff.
In June 2018, the water quality control board approved plans by Laguna Beach.
On Tuesday, the City Council is expected to adopt the resolution for stricter regulations and appoint City Manager John Pietig to make sure no one violates the permit.
If you include inland cities run-off, it’s a huge win.
The inland cities are doing a much better job.” Decades of over-fishing diminished much of California’s marine life and prompted a massive effort in the late 1990s to establish a statewide etwork of Marine Protected Areas.
The beaches off Laguna were declared a Marine Protected Area in 2012, the result of efforts of a coalition of local organizations and individuals – collectively the Laguna Bluebelt Coalition – that wanted to restore Laguna’s marine life and habitat.
By 2015, local surfers, stand-up paddle boarders and divers reported an increase in variety of fish, tide pool creatures and kelp along the protected coastline.
Gray, blue and humpback whales are no longer a rarity in the picturesque coves.

Austin Water report shows big impact of boil order was conservation

When it issued the order Oct. 22, Austin Water said the murkiness of floodwater had overwhelmed treatment capacity and could endanger water quality.
The boil order was lifted Oct. 28.
“They changed very radically [their treatment process for] water quality and water sources, and we all know what happened at Flint,” he said.
“I’m not saying that we’re Flint or we’re going to be Flint, but you have to be very thoughtful about process changes so you don’t destabilize your distribution system.” The utility also said adding extra treated water storage capacity could help, as it would buy the city more time to treat floodwater in the event of a similar storm.
Since the order was lifted, Meszaros said, the level of murkiness in water flowing out of Lake Travis is still not what it was before the October flooding.
This story was produced as part of the Austin Monitor’s reporting partnership with KUT.
The Austin Monitor’s work is made possible by donations from the community.
Key Players & Topics In This Article Austin City Council: The Austin City Council is the body with legislative purview over the City of Austin.
Until 2012, the body contained seven members, including the city’s Mayor, all elected at-large.
In 2012, City of Austin residents voted to change that system and now 10 members of the Council are elected based on geographic districts.

Tucson Water mistakenly sent contaminated water to thousands of residents

Tucson Water recently shut down a treatment plant after discovering it was sending water contaminated with chemical compounds to thousands of residents of downtown and the city’s west and north sides.
Shortly after making that discovery, utility officials also learned that they had mistakenly thought for some time that uncontaminated water was coming out of the plant, which has long treated south-side water pollution.
The utility had been sampling the water at a point its officials thought was connected to the south-side treatment plant, but which actually was getting water from other sources, administrators said last week.
It turned out that water coming out of the treatment plant was now tainted with what’s known as perfluorinated chemicals, also known as PFAS compounds.
The plant’s water is served to a large V-shaped area, population about 60,000, stretching north from East 29th Street through downtown and flanking Interstate 10.
Because the utility hadn’t sampled points in the treatment plant’s water-delivery area until this year, Tucson Water officials say they don’t know how long the contaminated water had been served to customers there.
That’s also because the utility had repeatedly found none of the compounds when it sampled for them at a water main lying less than 2 miles north of the Santa Cruz Lane Reservoir where the TARP water is stored for delivery.
Since 2009, the utility had been sampling its well system and other points in its water-delivery network for the PFAS compounds.
Looking at old maps of its water system and visiting the area, utility officials discovered that the sampling spigot was actually connected to another main across the street from the water main where most of the TARP water was going, Biggs said.
Then, it took samples both at the treatment plant and in the distribution system, and found no PFAS compounds.

Ogdensburg asked to keep health officials in loop on water line problems

Pipe Lining & Shotcrete Repair Municipal Work-No Affect on Traffic Flow-Emergency Services Available- Call Now! OGDENSBURG — City Department of Public Works officials are coordinating with the state Department of Health regarding when they plan to make significant water line repairs, or when major water infrastructure breaches occur.
State officials want the city to notify them not only of when water breaks occur — but also of when major upgrades are scheduled — so that a determination can be made on whether a “boil water advisory” should be issued to the public.
Health Department officials reached out to the city after a recent article in the Watertown Daily Times reported recurring infrastructure problems in Ogdensburg.
It was simply a matter of not having been instructed to issue boil-water notices as an added precaution.” In a report to City Council, Ogdensburg Department of Public Works Director Scott A. Thornill said that during the city’s conversation with state Health Department officials, it was decided that “there will be situations moving forward” when it might become necessary to issue boil-water notices to the public.
And that decision will rest with the state Health Department, according to city officials.
Ogdensburg City Manager Sarah Purdy said the new protocols involving the health department will be applied to both planned repairs and emergency breaks.
“The city already has consulted with the New York state Department of Health on these repairs and is scheduling valve repairs for the next few weeks,” Ms. Purdy said.
Right now DOH is reviewing how the repairs are being handled and will let DPW know if notice is required.” In the case of planned water line repairs, the city will give affected customers as much notice as possible, according to Ms. Purdy.
“Emergency repairs are a different matter, and may require either door to door notice or a public service announcement.” The city of Ogdensburg has dealt with a number of water line breaks in recent months.

Phoenix seeks water rate increase to cope with drought, fix infrastructure

PHOENIX – Phoenix residents can expect to pay more for water next year, as the city is seeking a rate increase to prepare for drought conditions and fix old pipes and facilities.
“We’ve been planning for drought for decades, and so this isn’t really ‘Oh my gosh, we’re running out of water,’” Troy Hayes, Phoenix assistant water services director, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday.
“It’s more of we need to put infrastructure in to make sure that we can move it to where we need it to be so that we’re secure for the foreseeable future.” The city is proposing a 6 percent rate increase in 2019 and another 6 percent in 2020.
Hayes said 6 percent translates to about $2.35 per month for the average user.
“We have enough water for decades to come,” Hayes said.
“It’s not in the right place.” Some water is stored underground, so the city wants to install wells, pump stations and transmission mains to move the water if drought conditions persist.
The city also needs to pay to replace or repair aging pipes, pump stations and treatment plants.
“We have pipelines that were installed in the ‘20s and the ‘30s that are coming of age that we need to get replaced, and we’re going to be spending a large portion of this trying to replace those,” Hayes said.
The city also has five treatment plants built in 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s that need continual rehab and replacement work.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Nailea Leon contributed to this report.

Three sites in Cadillac still using water contaminated by Kysor

The city has identified three locations in Cadillac that still are using water in an area known to have been polluted by the Kysor Industrial Corporation, which began operations in 1959 as an automotive parts manufacturing plant.
The Cadillac City Council on Monday approved an ordinance that will require these locations to hook into the city’s water supply rather than use their own wells.
Contaminants and known carcinogens discovered as a result of Kysor’s activities include trichloroethane, acetone, chloroform, cyanide, tetrachloroethene, trichloroethene and chromium, among others.
Cadillac Director of Utilities Jeffrey Dietlin said when the contamination was discovered several decades ago, many residents and businesses that had been using their own wells hooked into the city’s water supply.
With the new ordinance passed by council, the city will pay to hook up the remaining locations still using their own wells into the city water supply.
Use of water from any well in the affected area now is prohibited unless an exception is granted by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Dietlin said the EPA contacted him a couple years ago to ask the city to impose additional restrictions following the discovery of large amounts of lead in the Flint water system.
Once the city hooks up the three locations and properly caps off their wells, the resident will be responsible for paying their monthly water bill.
Affected groundwater, which was discovered in the 1980s, has migrated north from the Cadillac industrial park to a residential area in Haring Township.
Haring Township previously enacted restrictions in compliance with EPA standards for the site.

City sets public hearing to further restrict water use in Kysor industrial area

If approved by the council after the public hearing, use of water from any well in the affected area will be prohibited unless an exception is granted by the EPA.
A few locations chose to keep their existing well, which was an option they had at the time.
Over the years, Dietlin said he believes everyone has switched to using city water, and he isn’t aware of anyone still using water from a potentially contaminated well.
If someone is found to still be using a well in the contamination zone, the city would pay the cost of hooking them into the Cadillac water system, if the proposed restrictions are approved.
Affected groundwater, which was discovered in the 1980s, has migrated northward to a residential area north of the industrial park in Haring Township.
According to the EPA, the Haring Township groundwater use restrictions have been strengthened since the last five-year review; however, existing city of Cadillac groundwater use restrictions still need to be made more robust.
The site’s long-term remedy included groundwater extraction and treatment, soil vapor extraction (SVE), and soil removal at another property in the industrial park.
An EPA report also states that risks and exposure pathways addressed by the cleanup include health risks from people ingesting or touching contaminants in soil and groundwater.
Contaminants and known carcinogens discovered as a result of Kysor’s activities include trichloroethane, acetone, chloroform, cyanide, tetrachloroethene, trichloroethene and chromium, among others.
The public hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 6 p.m. at the Cadillac Municipal Complex, located at 200 N. Lake St.

Fresh water supply or pipe dream?

Residents fear underground basin is too contaminated for potable use A proposal to tap into Simi Valley’s groundwater basin as a source for drinking water drew angst and anger from residents who claim the water has been contaminated by runoff from the Santa Susana Field Lab.
About 30 people urged the City Council on Monday not to act on a study by Ventura County Waterworks District No.
Since 2014, the waterworks district, which provides water to about 65 percent of Simi Valley, has studied how much water the basin can produce, the quality of the available resource and how much could be pumped out annually.
Joe Deakin, Simi’s assistant public works director, previously told the Simi Valley Acorn that the basin’s feasibility as a drinking water source would provide a vital additional option for residents and potentially reduce the cost of water.
The remaining 15 percent is treated groundwater from Simi’s basin that the agency says is used for drinking water.
it’s absolutely frightening,” Becerra told the Simi Valley Acorn Tuesday.
“But what these residents are saying should definitely be taken into account because some folks have been impacted in ways we would wish on no one.” The waterworks study is a preliminary look at the feasibility of using groundwater and any related action is at least five years away, Simi’s City Manager Eric Levitt said, adding that the concerns of residents will be taken into account.
Residents can weigh in on the matter at a neighborhood council meeting on Aug. 21 and at future council meetings.
Holly Braithwaite, Boeing spokesperson, said the groundwater from SSFL is part of a different aquifer than Simi’s basin and therefore any potential contamination isn’t from the field lab.
“No matter the source, all drinking water delivered to customers is subject to regulatory analysis and must meet rigorous state and federal drinking water standards,” Zorba said.

Walking trails at reservoir would endanger drinking water | Opinion

By Michael Yun It’s August and just like clockwork, Mayor Steven Fulop is at it again with another head-scratching initiative.
This time his strange idea is to add walking trails around the 1,300-acre Jersey City reservoir, located in Morris County.
Mayor Fulop touted his plans on Twitter (his go-to method of governing) boasting, "It’s a great JC asset that will serve conservationists, school children + surrounding community," however, the opposite is much more likely and the Mayor would know this if he took the time to talk to actual Jersey City residents.
The environmental commission’s two points of concern were the environmental and human dangers that may lead to the contamination of the drinking water that, not only the people of Jersey City, but the people of Secaucus and Parsippany, a total of roughly 340,000 people rely on.
"The construction of access roads, parking areas, pathways, etc… would impact the already fragile and very limited protective vegetative cover.
The vegetative cover is an extremely important ecosystem service, as it reduces soil erosion, maintains soil moisture, and acts to filter potentially contaminated runoff that can flow into the reservoir."
When there is a large isolated body of water, people litter or will relieve themselves, not understanding how their actions will ultimately affect others.
The environmental commission’s concern is that "the risk of an intentional attack to compromise the water supply of the people of Jersey City, Secaucus, and Parsippany."
If this were to happen, the ramifications would be catastrophic, by risking the health of these citizens and costing taxpayers to fix it.
One solution for those who desire a walking trail is to utilize the currently underused Jersey City Reservoir #3 located in the Heights, a development that poses no risk to the drinking water of the people of Jersey City, Secaucus, and Parsippany, while also being located in the mayor’s own city for his constituents to enjoy.