The Cambrian

Flooding forces Cambria CSD to shut down two San Simeon wells

Water encroaches on the Cambria Community Services District well field near San Simeon Creek early Wednesday afternoon.
Water encroaches on the Cambria Community Services District well field near San Simeon Creek early Wednesday afternoon.

For a while, Cambrians will be getting their water from two wells on Santa Rosa Creek. Rain runoff “is starting to encroach into the well field” on San Simeon Creek, according to an email sent about 12:20 p.m. Wednesday by Jerry Gruber, general manager of the Cambria Community Services District.

The creek is running heavily, Gruber said. According to a neighbor, storm runoff was approaching or had reached one district well.

Gruber said “Currently, we are only running the San Simeon well No. 1 well, and this particular well is the farthest away from the creek.” He said he anticipates shutting down that well soon, “as a precautionary measure.” Then, “we have an established protocol if the water continues to rise and comes into direct contact with the wells.”

He updated the situation in an email Thursday: “If surface water or creek water was in infiltrate the casing of a well, we would have to chlorinate the well and take bacteriological sample to make sure the well water is safe to drink prior to putting back on line for human consumption. ... Fortunately this did not occur. We are currently operating San Simeon Well Number 2, and San Simeon Wells 1 and 3 are off and were not impacted by the rising creek.”

Meanwhile, he said, the town’s potable water will come from the Santa Rosa Creek wells 3 and 4,” which are “more than capable” of meeting the community’s water demand. “Both of the Santa Rosa Wells will not be impacted by the current creek conditions and or the current amount of rain we have received.”

Gruber assured the community that “I will continue to keep everyone informed as we continue to experience rain over the next several days.”

The district also received some calls about odor from the wastewater treatment plant on Park Hill. Gruber said that was due to the mechanical failure of a pump that recirculates biosolids throughout the plant. The pump “has been replaced,” he said, “and we should start noticing a reduction in odor at the facility within the next few days.”

Gruber urged constituents who have concerns to contact the district office at 805-927-6223. When the office isn’t open, an answering service will take the message and alert on-call technicians and/or CSD officials.