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Drinking water solution nears for students at Nile Garden
Nile garden overall
What Nile Garden School will look like after improvements are made.

The days of Nile Garden School students and staff relying 100 percent on bottled water are numbered.

The rural school just south of Manteca had to switch to bottled water in 2014. That was due to contaminates in the well serving the school that is being expanded to serve 1,000 students. Roughly 90 percent of its student body resides within the city limits.

The City of Manteca has teamed up with the Manteca Unified School District to secure a $5 million state grant to deliver potable water to the campus. It includes $3.9 million for a new well and $1.1 million for a 4-inch pipeline as well as water system improvements at the elementary campus.

The City Council on Tuesday agreed to the terms of an 18-month extension the state authorized to get the design work completed.

Nile Garden started using bottled water eight years ago when tests showed that the water being pumped from a well no longer met newer federal standards for arsenic. The previous standard was 50 parts per billion in terms of volume. It has now been reduced to 10 parts per billion.

Arsenic occurs naturally. Experts have said it would take arsenic levels “about 100 times” higher than what they are now to cause sickness. They also have described the EPA edict as “extreme” caution.

The district will determine if it will be more effective to use the existing well for the fire suppression system on the campus or to rely on the municipal water system once the campus is connected with it. There are no nearby fire hydrants currently at the rural campus.

The existing well at Nile Garden will continue to be used for irrigation to avoid using much more expensive treated city water for that purpose.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email