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Water tank may have capacity for 2.3M flushes

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POSTED February 20, 2013 2:01 a.m.

By this time next year you may be able to visualize how much water is needed for 233,000 five-minute showers using low-flow heads.

That’s because the water storage tank Manteca is moving forward with on Atherton Drive just north of Woodward Avenue could hold as much as 3.5 million gallons.

Public Works Director Mark Houghton told the council Tuesday that the final design of the tank will be determined once bids are received. The tank capacity will range anywhere from 2.7 million to 3.5 million gallons.

A 3.5-million gallon tank represents 2.3 million flushes of low flow toilets. It is also the equivalent of 153.5 swimming pools that are 16 by 32 feet with 8.5 feet in the deep end and 3 feet in the shallow end.

Existing residents in the Woodward Park neighborhoods, though, will have a better way to picture what the water tank will represent. They’ll be able to tell it through improved water pressure especially on summer mornings when extensive sprinkler use is underway along with people getting up and taking showers.

The council approved spending $255,000 to secure 1.113 acres along Atherton Drive just north of Woodward Avenue to in order to build the water tank. It is designed to serve existing residents who rely on two overtaxed wells near Woodward Park. It also will serve new growth. And in the event arsenic standards are tightened again by the federal government, it will provide a way to blend surface water with well water - the source of naturally occurring arsenic - and avoid much costlier arsenic removal treatment plants at well heads.

Councilman Steve DeBrum asked staff to address concerns raised by resident Ben Cantu in an e-mail he sent to various council members and as a letter to the Manteca Bulletin.

Among those concerns was why development isn’t paying for the entire water tank. Staff explained state law requires existing customers to pay for what infrastructure is needed to serve them. The same goes for growth paying its way. Once the final cost is compiled for the land, tank construction and masonry wall, it will be determined what percentage of the tank will serve existing residents and what portion will serve future residents. The charges will then be made accordingly.

The existing users will pay for their share out of their monthly maintenance and operations charges for water that appear on their municipal utility bill. Since the city has set aside money for the existing residents’ share of the cost, it will not result in a rate increase.

Growth pays for it in fees collected at the time building permits are issued.

The tank will be similar in design to the two existing million gallon squat style tanks Manteca has on West Yosemite Avenue in front of the wastewater treatment plant and on Lathrop Road east of Union Road.

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