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Smelly water causes stink in Lathrop

Sometimes social media can be a boondoggle for elected officials who are instantly accessible to constituents who have a problem.

But for Lathrop Mayor Sonny Dhaliwal, it’s a chance to address issues as they arise – like he did on Monday when reports started coming in from residents that there was something not quite right about their tap water.

According to Dhaliwal, multiple people contacted him on Monday with complaints that their tap water smelled foul – something that when he polled the public on quickly revealed itself as isolated incidents rather than a widespread issue with the city’s overall water delivery system.

By 5 p.m. he had the addresses of the homes that were having the issue in the hands of the city’s Director of Public Works, who will investigate the matter further and determine the best way to proceed.

“They’re looking into it – they aren’t sure whether it’s lines that need to be flushed or something else, but there are a number of those complaints even though the majority of people don’t seem to have that problem,” Dhaliwal said. “It’s something that the city is looking into, and they’ll be in contact with those residents when they understand what is going on.”

And the water issues extended beyond just what was coming out of the tap.

A number of other complaints came from residents that say they saw a noticeable spike in their water bills without necessarily using any more than they did the previous month – something that didn’t make sense to Dhaliwal given that the last water rate increase went into effect in January.

Such a sudden increase, he said, is often indicative of a water leak somewhere in the system, and he noted that those who reached out to him with those issues are having their bills looked into by the city’s finance department and any additional mechanical issues will be researched by public works.

The city is responsible for all piping up to the water meter, but all connections beyond that to the home are the responsibility of the property owner. The city includes a section on its website that details the tests and the checks that can be done for leaks within a water system, and includes simple tips of things that can be added to the home – like a dual faucet aerator, a toilet tank bank, a fill cycle diverter and a 7-position water gun. All of the items are available in a kit through the city’s public works department.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.