Solving New Challenges to Our Water System

WaterMain Main St. Water Main Repair 2

The City of Watsonville takes pride in nearly a century of high quality water service. Every day we pump, treat, test and deliver almost 7 million gallons of water from our local groundwater wells and creeks! You get clean potable water for less than a penny per gallon.

Currently, new State drinking water regulations and aging water pipelines are posing new financial challenges to our community’s water system.

In 2014, California became the first state to set a drinking water regulation specifically for chromium-6. In our region, and many areas throughout California, chromium 6 is an element that naturally exists in the soil and rock surrounding our groundwater wells which then dissolves into the groundwater.

Our Water Division is working hard to meet the new standard as quickly and economically as possible. However, this unfunded mandate will cost $20 Million. This is ten times our regular annual expenses for water projects.

Additionally, more than half of the City’s water pipes are over 50 years old. Our aging infrastructure is creating costly maintenance issues and causing frequent service disruptions. Our Water Main Replacement Plan takes a proactive approach to reduce the cost and disruption to residents and businesses.

The only feasible way to fund projects like these is a combination of low interest loans, grants and customer fees. The City’s proposed rate change is necessary to maintain the current level of service and meet new regulations. Despite the challenges, Watsonville will find ways to keep providing our community with safe, reliable drinking water at the lowest rates in the country.

A public meeting will be held during the Regular City Council Meeting of September 8th where City utility customers will have the opportunity to provide input to the City regarding proposed rate changes. For information call 768-3100.

Public Meeting

September 8, 2015
6:30 p.m.
City Council Chambers
275 Main St., 4th Floor

This entry was posted on Monday, August 3rd, 2015 at 8:23 am and is filed under City Manager, City of Watsonville, Homepage News, Public Works . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.