Camrosa's potable groundwater wells currently provide more than one-third
of the District's drinking water.
(39% in 2012).
Camrosa owns 11 groundwater wells, eight of which are capable of producing
potable water, and three that are impacted by nitrates and are tied into
the non-potable system.
One potable well, the Penny Well, has been out of service since the late 1990s,
when trace amounts of a contaminant were detected. Contaminant levels
were far below Public Health standards, but in an abundance of
caution, Camrosa suspended production. For a number of reasons,
the Penny Well remained out of service until the summer of 2013,
when we began rehabilitating it. Hopefully, the contaminant
plume has dissipated and the well can be returned to potable service.
If not, it will be dedicated to the non-potable system.
The University Well, near CSUCI, was rehabilitated in 2012. Its purpose is to
provide brackish groundwater to the District's first desalination facility, the
Round Mountain Water Treatment Plant,
which is currently under construction and due to begin producing potable water
early in 2014.
In 2013, Camrosa completed an update to the Santa Rosa Basin Groundwater Management
Plan. This document will help us to better understand how the basin works, and to weigh
the feasibility of projects to enchance the basin's utilization, such as injection of
Additional Water Resources.
In 2015, we plan to do a similar hydrogeologic study to update
the Tierra Rejada Basin Groundwater Management Plan. The District currently has one well
in the Tierra Rejada Basin, and the water it produces is the highest-quality groundwater
in our potable system. In addition to providing more, high-quality local water, a new
Tierra Rejada well would also allow us to get more local water into the higher pressure
zones, which currently receive primarily imported water.
Local groundwater has a high mineral content and is blended with imported water
to improve taste and reduce hardness. So far, blending is the most cost-effective solution
for this, as installing additional treatment facilities would be cost-prohibitive.
However, our blend ratios restrict our pumping capacity, and treating
groundwater to drinking level standards through
desalination could allow us produce more groundwater from our existing wells.
As imported water costs continue to rise, the prospect of treating groundwater
becomes increasingly feasible.