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SSJID may squeeze more water from plant

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POSTED November 6, 2011 12:16 a.m.

Cutting edge technology employed by South San Joaquin Irrigation District may give the cities of Manteca, Ripon, Lathrop, and Tracy more of one of California’s most precious resources - water.

The SSJID board on Tuesday is being asked to spend $45,000 to have Forsgren Associates conduct an analysis of the Nick DeGroot Surface Water Treatment Plant and the transmission pipeline system to determine how much additional capacity is available.

The system originally was designed with conservative estimates on the flow that could go through the pipeline based on resistance to water movements. At the same time, the cutting edge technology used in the latest Zenon membrane technology has significantly increased the amount of water that can be treated at the plant as it is now built on Dodds Road west of Woodward Reservoir. The membranes remove microscopic organisms to make the water safe for drinking.

The study will determine how much more water capacity the three original cites are entitled to - Manteca, Lathrop, and Tracy - and what capacity that could be made available to Ripon. That city is planning use water from the plant in the coming years.

Ripon already has negotiated to pay to use part of excess capacity that the other three cities are paying for under the original arrangement.

A future expansion of the plant will add additional capacity to treat water.

The additional capacity is critical as the availability of water in California tends to limit growth.

In the case of the treatment plant, the cities have a solid source of water from SSJID’s historical rights on the Stanislaus River watershed.

The end result of the study will mean future costs of securing treated water will be lower since existing plant capacity can generate more water than projected. That in turn lowers the per unit price for treating water and ultimately makes water less expensive than originally anticipated for end users.

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