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Nile Garden will have safe water source by year’s end
nile garden school
The Nile Garden School campus on Nile Avenue south of Manteca.

Nile Garden School students and staff since 2014 have been supplied with bottled water.

It’s because the water well that serves the rural south Manteca campus had repeatedly violated the maximum contaminant levels for both arsenic and 1,2,3-trichloropropane.

On Tuesday, the Manteca City Council is expected to call for bids for a two-phase $4.8 million project to develop a well on the southeastern side of Charles Palmer Park on Sephos Street as well as extend a transmission line to the school.

The State Water Resources Control Board has agreed to reimburse Manteca for the project from the Safe and Affordable Drinking Act bond proceeds.

The new well will include an arsenic treatment system.

The effort includes 6,500 feet — or roughly 1.2 miles — of a 4-inch pipeline.

Both phases are targeted for completion by this fall.

The elementary school that is being expanded to serve 1,000 students is outside Manteca’s city limits.  Roughly 90 percent of its student body resides in Manteca proper.

The City of Manteca teamed up with the Manteca Unified School District to secure a $5 million state grant to deliver potable water to the campus.

Nile Garden started using bottled water nine 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 was 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.

The EPA edict has been described by some experts as being “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.

The council meets Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email