The state has invested nearly $308,000 more toward the effort to solve Cambria’s water-shortage problem during droughts.
The Cambria Community Services District announced Feb. 5, that it had received the money through a State Water Board Public Water System Drought Emergency Response grant. The money is to repay the district for revamping the SR3 well in Tin City on Village Lane and for upgrading a previously mothballed filtration system that removes iron and manganese from water taken from the lower Santa Rosa Creek aquifer.
The district completed those projects last year, adding about 114 acre-feet of drinkable water to the town’s sources and bringing back online the mothballed wells and filtering facilities removed from service about 14 years ago in response to underground contamination from a nearby service station.
Chevron spent millions of dollars over about a decade cleaning up that contamination from MtBE and other chemicals from gasoline. The district continues to monitor the area closely to detect any movement of the remaining contaminants toward the district wells and the creek.
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CCSD had sought a grant of $353,000 for rehabbing SR3 and the Filtronics plant.
In December, the district received $4.38 million in state drought-grant funds for the community’s $9.13 million water reclamation project built last year under an emergency permit from the county. The plant is undergoing a three-month test run to verify that all systems are working properly; to train CCSD staff on how to run, maintain and fix the plant; and to gain operational data the district needs for its application to a permanent permit to operate the plant.
The new $307,896 grant “is a welcome financial boost, but it’s also more than that,” district General Manager Jerry Gruber said. “It’s a vote of confidence in Cambria’s strategy for dealing with the drought by making the most efficient use of our existing resources.”
In a special meeting Feb. 10, the district Board of Directors approved a resolution updating authorizations in its previous grant application.
For a time last year, the district also provided ratepayers with nonpotable water they could use for landscaping. Users had to fill their own holding tanks with that water drawn from a temporary tank on Main Street and a newly plumbed “filling station” at the Rodeo Grounds area. The district said the state water grant does not cover those costs.
On Tuesday, district directors also adopted a labor-compliance program that brings district policies in line with those required for public works projects funded by Proposition 84 grants.
The changes will cost up to $10,500 for monitoring and consulting services from Contractor Compliance Monitoring, which informs contractors about their prevailing wage obligations and monitors compliance.
The district needed to OK that labor-compliance program to meet labor-code regulations and get necessary approval from the State Department of Industrial Relations.