Cambria water tank runneth over, spills 168,000 gallons of water

ktanner@thetribunenews.comFebruary 13, 2014 

About 168,000 gallons, or nearly 225 units, of water were lost in about six hours when the Cambria Community Services District’s 320,000-gallon Fiscalini tank overflowed Friday, Feb. 7, estimates district Utilities Manager Mike Finnigan.

The tank is tied into the Stuart Street booster pump station that sends water to the Fiscalini tank, which is at a higher elevation.

“A malfunction occurred within the phone line interfering with communications, causing the Fiscalini tank to overflow,” Finnigan said in an email Monday.

He said that as soon as an area resident notified the district of the spill, on-call staff immediately shut off the Stuart street booster station feeding the Fiscalini tank.

A unit of water is 748 gallons. The spill happened about a week after the district board implemented strict water-use restrictions because of the drought conditions that continue, despite recent rains. As of March 1, district customers will be restricted to using 2 units of water per month per person, with stiff penalties levied for usage above that.

A similar incident in mid-October drained about 265,000 gallons from the same water tank, which funnels water to customers within the upper part of Lodge Hill’s Top of the World neighborhood.

The October spill was triggered by a faulty device that controlled the flow between the Stuart Street and Fiscalini sites.

Finnigan said the ultimate solution would be to replace the entire Fiscalini tank, which was installed in the early 1990s and has been patched and repaired off and on ever since.

Replacing the tank could cost about $640,000.

CCSD board meets today

The Cambria Community Services District Board of Diretors has scheduled a special meeting today at 4 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St., to discuss an emergency water supply, a study of rates it charges and other items.

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