May 20, 2013 Meeting Summary

LIVINGSTON CA / June 01, 2013 —

Note from TheGardeningSnail – this is not a word for word transcript of the entire meeting, but is meant to give you an idea of what was covered during the meeting, and what information was presented to the members of the Utility Rate Stakeholders Committee present.


Utility Rates Stakeholders Committee Mtg.

Monday – May 20, 2013 at 5:30 p.m.

City Council Chambers

Information and Discussion

1. Well #16 Arsenic Treatment

  • #16 is moving along. The media was delivered last week Thursday the 16th.

  • The pads for the tanks were poured on Friday.

  • The new Mechanical Equipment is being delivered in the next 3 weeks or so.

  • The new Chemical Tanks for Chemical PH adjustment should be delivered within the next 2 or 3 weeks.

  • The project is going well so far: a few minor little hiccups to be addressed on site: nothing big.

  • The full cost of this (well) going is going to be around $252,000 per year in additional Operating costs. That includes Media Replacement. (If we have to run that well {constantly} for a whole year.   

2. Well #13 Arsenic Issue

  • Well #13 has been tested for Arsenic. Both times we’ve tested, the levels were pretty high.

  • One came up at 13 and the other one came up at 12. So basically, even if we get down to under 10, we’re not likely to go under 10 for an average unless we get really lucky and hit a “1” or a “2” for the next 3 times, which is not likely.

  • The well is still operating: The Department of Public Health has given the OK as long as we are on track with quarterly testing.

  • At the end of the year, we’ll see where we go from there. What has been done so far is the City has asked for proposals in anticipation of what will need to be done to install filtration for Arsenic on Well #13.

  • The well is running. It is being kept online. The water is kept running because another issue is also Hydrogen Sulfide.

  • The well had been flushed for about two weeks: over 10 million gallons of water were pumped out and the odor dissipated considerably.

  • The Arsenic Levels dropped. The first one was 12.9 the second was 11.9 (close to 12 and 13. Not sure the next one (test) will be lower and if it is it is not expected to be much lower.

  • This will be another well the City will have to address. Preliminary estimates and ideas are being obtained as to what the City can do.

  • This well was just rehabilitated not long ago. The well was of for several years before it was rehabilitated. After being rehabilitated, it was off for a while. This issue was found was discovered later.

  • Apparently the problem was there before, but not quite as drastic as now.The filtration system will be for Arsenic: It is the only constituent so far that has to be addresses.

  • The system will be similar to the one on Well #16. The cost of running Arsenic Treatment, just for Operations and Maintenance is $1/4 million, give or take, per year.

  • The City is also hoping the EPA doesn’t lower the limit to below 10ppb. The City wants to meat Title 22 standards but does not intend to design a system to completely eliminate Arsenic because that’s just more cost to the residents.

  • Costs are driven by the cost of the Media. The Media alone for Well #16 is between $217,000-$219,00. The media is the most expensive part and will last only about a year is the well is used regularly and continually.

  • If the well is not used as much the media will last longer. But, the City needs to plan for a worse case scenario. If there is an issue with another well, this one has to pick up the slack.

3. UCMR (Unregulated Chemical Monitoring Rule) 3, testing in progress.

  • These are tests that must been done every 5 years and is required by the EPA.

  • The cost of testing has been split across 3 different fiscal years. Total cost for the entire series of tests is $21,000. These analysis give the EPA more information about what possible constituents to regulate in the future.

  • Any water system serving 10,000 or more must do the testing. 800 water systems serving 10,000 or less are also doing the testing.

  • These tests are mandatory. The City has no say in the matter.

4. Chromium 6 & 3 MCL expected in about 2 years will have an effect in our system

  • When the City had been meeting with the Department of Public Health about the Arsenic in the system, there was a discussion about a future Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for Chromium 6 & 3.

  • There is going to be a MCL established in the next couple of years. The media for treating wells for Chromium 6 is very expensive.

  • Los Banos has an issue. Atwater does not. The City does not know yet what the Maximum Contaminant Level will be. Even if one is established, it could change as technology changes.

  • This is something the EPA is not likely to go “soft” on because of the Movie Erin Brokovitch 

  • The cost of constant monitoring will always be there. But not nearly as much as the cost of treatment.

  • Mayor Pro Temp Gurpal Samra noted that he had heard about the possibility of a new MCL for Chromium 6 four or five years ago.

5. Water Feasibility Study by Kennedy Jenks

  • A finalized copy of the Study was to have been available by now but there were delays because staff found several errors and other items in the Draft that didn’t seem to make sense.

  • Staff insisted on several corrections and changes to the draft. The updated draft did not get sent to the city until the weekend early morning Saturday.

  • City staff is looking over this revised draft and plan on releasing the draft to members of the committee as soon as possible.

  • There will be an Executive Summary plus the complete Study.

  • Input was contributed by the California Department of Public Health, MID, and members of the Utility Rate Stakeholders committee.

  • The California Department of Public Health gave plenty of Input: both in writing, and verbally when they met with the City about the Report.

  • City Staff is hoping to have all of their comments done within a week. If need be, a Special Meeting of the Committee will be held to go over the Report.

6. City Hall and PD Generator Replacement

  • We have a generator behind City Hall, its pretty old and will have to be addressed sooner or later. The one over at the Waste Water Treatment Plant is being looked at by the Air Board.

  • We already passed the smog check but it’s a pretty old generator.

Additional Items discussed

  • Purchase of Land from Foster Farms: needed to install the filtration system for TCP -1,2,3

  • Addition to AECOM Contract. There were some Nitrate issues, control measures, and drainage basin, that had to be added.

    • High levels of Nitrates had been detected during start up and shut down.

    • The Holding pond will be used as a “peaking pond”. Water will drain into the sewer and is expected to be in the pond for only a couple of hours.

  • The city is acting as the Project Manager for Well #13.

    • Some of the work will be done by the City. A request for proposals will go out for the other parts.

    • ACOME will help in the preparation of the bid package.

    • 100% plans and Specifications are expected to be ready by May 24th.

Notes from TheGardeningSnail. The Following has been excerpted from the California Department of Health Water System Inspection Report or other sources

WELL NO. 16 has been offline since September 2011 because the media in the arsenic removal treatment system has been exhausted… It is expected that a media change out will occur in the near future and Well No. 16 will be put back online by summer 2013…The City must provide a copy of the plans and specifications for the treatment plant upgrades. In addition, the City will be required to update the Operations Plan for the Well No. 16 arsenic treatment system and submit a Permit Amendment application…

WELL NO. 13 must be monitored on a quarterly basis for arsenic. The results must be submitted to the Department via EDT by the 10th day of the following month…(it) is also offline due to arsenic at elevated levels but below the MCL. The City is currently flushing the well to waste and collecting a bacteriological cycle test and hopes to bring the well online by mid-April if the cycle test results are coliform negative…The City lapsed in its quarterly sampling of Well No. 13 and will resume the monitoring during first week of April 2013.

UCMR (Unregulated Chemical Monitoring Rule) 3 Testing. …“The 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) require that once every five years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issue a new list of no more than 30 unregulated contaminants to be monitored by public water systems (PWSs). The Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR) provides EPA and other interested parties with scientifically valid data on the occurrence of contaminants in drinking water. These data serve as a primary source of occurrence and exposure information that the agency uses to develop regulatory decisions.” excerpted from The Third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 3)-Searching for Emerging Contaminants in Drinking Water Fact Sheet.


“Chromium is a heavy metal that occurs throughout the environment. The trivalent form is a required nutrient and has very low toxicity. The hexavalent form, also commonly known as “chromium 6,” is more toxic and has been known to cause cancer when inhaled. In recent scientific studies in laboratory animals, hexavalent chromium has also been linked to cancer when ingested.” excerpted from Chromium–6 Fact Sheet: California Department of Public Health


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