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Mantecas conservation rules dont hold water as far as city complying
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“No water will be allowed to flow into a gutter or other drainage area for longer than 5 minutes. Water leaks, breaks, or malfunctions in the user’s plumbing or irrigation system shall be repaired within 24 hours after discovery.”

That’s the language contained in water conservation rules established by the Manteca City Council to deal with the impacts of California’s ongoing drought.

Steve Palesch has discovered what is good for the gander in Manteca isn’t good for the goose.

The Manteca resident was on his run Saturday when he noticed a “pretty significant” water leak under Mission Ridge Drive between Burgundy Lane and Locust Avenue. Going by again on Sunday morning Palesch noticed water was coming out of the joint between the asphalt and concrete gutter “like a fountain.”

He called Manteca Police dispatch as directed by the city’s Public Works dispatch after hours number’s recording. He was told public works was aware of the issue and that they were going to take care of it Monday (today). Palesch said judging by markings on the pavement that the city was aware of the situation as early as Friday.

He explained that the water break had become worse than it was the previous day and was told “there’s nothing we can do about it.”

Palesch said his main concern centered on the possibility the water leaking from a broken pipe could undermine the roadway and cause an accident. He believed at the very least the city should have put up barricades to prevent cars from driving over the impacted area until it was repaired.

That wasn’t the frustration of other residents that noticed city parks were being irrigated “within 48 hours of measureable rain fall.”

The complaints they are making center around another provision of the City Council adopted water rules for dealing with the drought, “No irrigation is allowed during or within 48 hours following measurable rainfall as defined by storms that generate run-off or puddles.”

In the past when asked about why city parks and other municipal property didn’t adhere to this rule, it was stated it was too labor intensive for the city to comply.

That’s not an excuse a Manteca water customer can use to escape a citation or a warning for the same offense.

In other words do as the city says, not as it does.

One would think if private sector developers such as Cambay Group at River Islands at Lathrop can figure out the solution — installing moisture sensors tied to control boxes for irrigation systems — that the City of Manteca can do the same.

Yes, it costs money to retrofit irrigation system but here’s the problem: Water supplies are going to be critical from here on out whether it is due to droughts, state edicts to commander water, restrictions on groundwater pumping, or growth.

So why isn’t the city requiring new parks and public landscaping areas to have moisture sensors or the ability to remotely control water being turned on much like farmers armed with a smartphone app can do when it comes to ordering water from the South San Joaquin Irrigation District? At the same time, why can’t existing parks be retrofitted with such capabilities even if it takes multiple years to accomplish?

Given the fact that the city itself repeatedly reminds Manteca residents that the irrigation of grass is the single biggest water use in Manteca, you’d think they might want to step up their game and comply with their own rules.


Shred It event

is a success

Rexie LeStrange of the City of Manteca’s Solid Waste Division reported Saturday’s Shred It event was a success.

There were 470 vehicles that came through the line at the Wetmore Street location with four Shred It trucks handling the shredding.

She reported a few hundred compliments and thank yous for the city providing the service.

The cost analysis portion of the garbage rate study shows the twice a year Shred It event costs $12,200 annually. That is $5,000 each time for the Shred It service and overtime at $40 an hour for 10 solid waste division staff workers spending an average of six hours at each event.

Another way to look at it, the cost comes to 60 cents a year for each of the solid waste division’s 21,800 ratepayers.

Home shredders are as inexpensive as $29 each at Wal-Mart but the ones with the least problems due to overheating are $47.

Most people who take advantage of the Shred It events do so every two to three years after accumulating records and such the need to dispose although some do so on an annual basis. Even if someone went twice a year it would take 24 years before the portion of what each ratepayer is charged for the service costs as much as the cheapest shredder.

Manteca launched its Shred It program after Manteca Police stepped up efforts to reduce identity theft when scavengers rummage through brown Toters looking for personal information that can sell for $20 plus a garbage bag to identify thieves.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email