Wednesday, August 27, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Ask the expert: We’re fine with well water

By
From page A1 | February 13, 2013 |

* Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a series of “Ask the expert” columns appearing in advance of the Measure I election, regarding various technical aspects of the city’s water utility and the proposed Woodland-Davis surface water project.

The expert: Walt Sadler, a registered professional civil engineer in California with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Sacramento State and a master’s degree in environmental engineering from UC Davis. Sadler also is a licensed water treatment operator with surface and groundwater experience and has more than 40 years of experience both as a consultant and staffer for municipal agencies.

The question: If the city elected to continue to supply its residents with only well water, what would it have to do to ensure that the supply meets all regulatory standards — including those effluent standards coming up in 2017? Or in other words, what upgrades would it have to make to the system? Can you estimate how long those upgrades would last and how much they would cost Davis to make?

The answer: The city of Davis, with its existing groundwater supply, currently meets all state and federal drinking water standards and, with minor changes in operation, can address the 2017 waste discharge requirements without the need for surface water or additional groundwater wells to meet current supply requirements.

The immediate need for the surface project, as explained to the Water Advisory Committee, was selenium, salinity and Woodland’s schedule.

Hydraulic modeling of the city’s existing water supply and distribution system has demonstrated that with changes in operation, selenium concentrations identified in the discharge requirements can be met, and total dissolved solids and hardness levels will decrease.

Implementing the city’s plan to irrigate parks and greenbelts with intermediate wells will only improve water quality.

This determination is not hypothetical, it can be found in Brown and Caldwell’s April 5, 2012, technical memorandum, “Water Distribution System Water Quality Modeling,” which was prepared at the city’s request.

With regard to the city of Woodland, they apparently have made no effort to limit their selenium discharge by changes in operation, as evidenced by their use of a well that has a concentration of approximately six times their discharge requirement limit. Salinity is a regional issue.

To address this issue there are a variety of activities occurring in the professional and regulatory community, the most significant being the Central Valley Salts Initiative, in which neither the cities of Davis or Woodland participate.

Eliminating water softeners has been identified as a method to address salinity. The city could use the existing hydraulic model to identify those individuals who do not need water softeners by virtue of the water quality of the well water they receive.

UC Davis professor Graham Fogg’s recent article substantiates the fact that the current well system is not in danger of immediate failure. Therefore, statements suggesting immediate well failure are intentionally false and fail to recognize that well construction technology has improved.

Wells, like surface water treatment plants, need maintenance and/or replacement over time, much like a car. To meet regulatory requirements, the city does not have to make any physical changes to its groundwater wells, merely modify its operational procedures.

Comments

comments

Enterprise staff

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    City, plaintiffs settle suit over water rates

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Scrap the MRAP, council says, but wants a talk with cops

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Yolo grows sunflower seeds for the world

    By Margaret Burns | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    True Blue Devil Arnold gave back starting in high school

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Gaza cease-fire holds as sides weigh gains

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    California beach town sees flooding from hurricane

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Assembly passes campus sexual-assault bill

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    American militant reportedly killed in Syria

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Sunder campaign distributes signs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Dinner, auction benefit Yolo County CASA

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Farmworkers’ son wins prestigious NIH scholarship

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Interested in Portuguese? Drop by I-House

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Play groups offered by Center for Families

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Solar-cooking workshop set at Food Co-op

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Give blood and get a free movie ticket

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Chat with Poppenga at coffee shop

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Raley’s pays $1.6 million to settle hazardous-waste lawsuit

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Back-to-school party benefits Archer campaign

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Breast cancer program examines surgery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Crisis nursery bill on governor’s desk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Global warming on group’s agenda

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    A sweet reward for turning in cash

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A4

     
    Yolo Federal to hold photo contest

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Try yoga, meditation at Holistic Health Center

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Troops get ‘Hugs From Home’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Documentary reveals ‘The Village Under the Forest’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    UCD West Village gets an electric Zipcar

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Little Rock hero featured at reunion

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    UCD ranks No. 16 for serving the public interest

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Wolk’s infrastructure bill clears state Senate

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Forum

    Parents could use a hand at home

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Obama risks alienating Latinos

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A6

    A water plan for all of California

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    MRAP sends the wrong message

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Play structure idea endorsed

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Thanks for firearms info

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    Buschman, Cats mute the Sounds

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    New coach eager to see his Aggie charges hit the courses

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Shaw respects Aggies, while Gould is happy to get a shot at Stanford

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils prep for tough 2014 volleyball schedule

    By Chris Saur | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Bumgarner deals as Giants blank Rockies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Carter’s blast send Astros past A’s

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Sports briefs: Online registration ends Friday for Labor Day Races

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    Field to fork: Play catch-up with summer’s produce

    By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Franco M. Navazio, M.D.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, August 27, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6