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Interim solution to Lathrop High sewer problems hammered out

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POSTED January 4, 2009 1:04 a.m.

LATHROP — An interim solution to Lathrop High School’s sewer and storm drainage problems will be considered by the City Council at their regular meeting on Tuesday.

This temporary solution was hammered out by the city and the Manteca Unified School District to “meet the needs of both agencies for now.”

When the new campus, Lathrop’s long-awaited high school, opened in August for the first 500 freshman and sophomore students, the city was able to provide water service at the site. However, Richland Planned Communities, the master developer of the Central Lathrop area where the high school is located, ran into financial difficulties in the wake of the widespread mortgage meltdown and housing foreclosures and was unable to complete all of the needed sewer and storm drain infrastructure such as underground pipes and pump station to deliver these services.

Currently, the school is collecting generated sewer waste in a deep manhole at the site where it is pumped into a truck and then hauled to the Manteca treatment plan on a regular basis. Storm-drain water from the school for now is being drained onto the future park near the school that is owned by the city.

The agreement being proposed that will provide temporary at-best solutions to these problems has already been approved by the Manteca Unified School Board of Trustees which also gave the superintendent authority to execute the contract with the city. The Lathrop council members are expected to do the same on Tuesday pending their review of the provisions of the agreement.

“Staff and the MUSD negotiated the best agreement possible given the situation. Both agencies would like to have a permanent solution; however, the interim improvements also meet the needs of both agencies for now,” states the report prepared by city staff for the council to review.

The contract provides the following provisions:

• with respect to the sewer service, the city would allow the school district to use the sewer capacity that they have in the Mossdale Landing area previously allocated to existing Mossdale Elementary and Ethel Allen whose construction is on hold right now due to lack of new housing construction. That capacity totals 21,500 gallons per day of wastewater treatment. For the district to use the capacity needed for the high school, the district would need to truck wastewater from the campus to an interim discharge point at the Mossdale Pump Station. Based on 1,000 students and 64 staff members, and using the city’s figures of 20 gpd (gallons per day) standard for students and 15 gpd standard for staff, the school would need an estimated 20,960 gallons of treatment capacity per day.

• the storm water runoff from the school would be conveyed to a retention pond and then pumped into the river, with the school district paying for “its proportionate share of the cost associated with the required storm drainage facilities.”
The council will meet at 7 p.m.in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 390 Town Centre Drive at Mossdale Landing.

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