Turlock could seek state money for water projects

jholland@modbee.comJune 22, 2014 

    alternate textJohn Holland
    Title: Staff writer
    Coverage areas: Agriculture, Turlock; local news editor on Sundays
    Bio: John Holland has been a reporter at The Bee for 12 years. He has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and previously worked at the Union Democrat in Sonora and the Visalia Times-Delta.
    Recent stories written by John
    Email: jholland@modbee.com

— The City Council on Tuesday will consider seeking about $2.54 million in state money for wellhead treatment and water conservation.

The money, from a water bond issue approved by voters in 2006, would help Turlock stretch its groundwater-fed system. The city would have to kick in a quarter of the cost, or $847,500, from its water customer revenue, for a total of $3.39 million.

The largest spending would be $2 million to treat arsenic, a naturally occurring substance, in two wells near the north end of town. They are among two dozen wells serving Turlock.

Installing eight wells to provide nonpotable water for landscape irrigation would cost $800,000 more. The turf medians on Cristoffersen Parkway would be replaced with drought-tolerant landscaping for $450,000, and $140,000 would be spent on automated irrigation controls.

The council in March approved a set of water rate increases that will start July 1 and nearly double the average residential bill to $47.10 a month by 2019. The money will go to operating and improving the wells, pipes, storage tanks and other parts of the system.

Officials said more increases could be needed if the city joins in a proposed Tuolumne River treatment plant serving Turlock, Ceres and south Modesto.

The council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 156 S. Broadway, Turlock. Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at jholland@modbee.com or (209) 578-2385.

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