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Ripon starts hunt for new water well site

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POSTED August 28, 2014 1:08 a.m.

In recent months, the City of Ripon has explored a new domestic well site.

One, in particular, is located in the Jack Tone Road and River Road area. The Engineering Department conducted tests plus drilled a hole to discover sufficient water.

“But the nitrate levels exceeded the State standards,” said City Administrator Kevin Werner at last week’s Ripon City Council meeting. “(We) concluded it could not be a domestic well.”

That was a big reason to bring aboard Wood Rodgers, Inc., which was founded in 1997 by two engineers – Rich Wood and Mark Rodgers – in Sacramento.

“Wood Rodgers can provide (for us) research and advice before drilling, which is the key to finding good drill sites,” Werner added.

Council agreed unanimously to bring in Wood Rodgers to do a well site suitability assessment along with well designed services for future well sites. Total cost is not to exceed $144,500 as footed by the Water Capital Fund.

Councilman Jake Parks asked if these funds would be served in tapping into the South San Joaquin Irrigation District line.

“It’s feasible, but the challenge is we are not a participating agency,” Werner said.

Council expressed the need to investigate other options such as the SSJID pipeline, storage water, and nitrate water treatment systems, as the area available to drill is thinning.

Wood Rodgers Inc., along with evaluating well sites – for example, they’ll look for known contamination and proximity to the existing infrastructure – will recommend two potential sites for testing. Included will be the construction of a monitoring well and performing a water quality analysis to determine the feasibility of construction of a potable well necessary in these drought-stricken times.

Werner indicated that “research and advice before drilling is the key to finding good drill sites.”

Wood Rodgers provided the City with a detailed report, including recommendations for a public water supply.

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