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Ripon OKs work on municipal water well
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One of Ripon’s water wells will soon get a new pump and motor.

The Ripon City Council on Tuesday gave the go ahead for Don Pedro Company to do that job for Well No. 12 in accordance to the Regional Water Quality Control Board’s approved operation and monitoring plan.

No discussion was necessary.

Work is not to exceed $48,000. Funding is being made possible via the Water Enterprise Capital Fund.

The installation of the pump and motor is necessary for Well 12 – part of the rehabilitation project along with Well 5 – to begin operating once again, according to Engineering Supervisor James Pease.

“The City will provide an existing motor, which is currently stored at the Well 12 site,” he said in his report to the council. “Once the pump and motor are installed, the City, with assistance from Wood Rodgers, Inc., will begin operating and monitoring Well 12 according to the RWQCB approved plan.”

Well 12 had to be modified by completely sealing off the upper aquifer, in turn, eliminating the contamination of nitrates into the lower aquifers of the well. Pease noted that majoring of the City’s drinking water is obtained from these lower aquifers, which provide clean water that meets the State’s drinking water standards.

“Although recent testing has shown a dramatic increase in nitrates to Well 12 since the modification was completed, the levels are still not suitable to use for potable drinking water,” he said.

Pease noted that the high nitrate levels were a result of fertilizer storage at the previous Ripon Farm Service facility that’s no longer in service.

While this well is currently not suitable for potable drinking water, he pointed out that production rate of about 500 to 1,000 gallons per minute could substantially increase the redundancy of the City’s non-potable water system, which is nearing capacity.

About two months ago, the City along with the geotechnical engineering firm of Wood Rodgers, Inc. submitted an Operation and Monitoring Plan for Well to the RWQCB for review.

“The plan provided a guideline for pumping Well 12 at a rate that would not negatively impact or draw from the nitrate plume at the site previously operated by Ripon Farm Service. RWQCB issued a conditional concurrence with the plan which would allow the City to begin pumping Well 12 with the condition that the pump test reports and updates are sent to (RWQCB) staff for review,” Pease said.