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What’s on tap? Lathrop says water changes temporary
water faucet
A complete list of the contaminants detected in Turlock’s drinking water during 2020 can be found in the annual report, available at:

Last week, Lathrop residents began complaining about the strange odor and color to the water coming out of their taps. 

According to the City of Lathrop, the issue was only temporary and attributed to a capacity test by the South San Joaquin Irrigation District that significantly increased the amount of surface water within Lathrop’s municipal water system. 

According to a release posted to the City of Lathrop’s website, the capacity test took place on June 28 and lasted for approximately five hours — pushing large amounts of surface water into the system that officials believe was the cause of the change in color, odor and taste. 

But that water, the city says, is no less safe than the water that is delivered on a routine basis to customers, meeting all of the necessary drinking water standards set by the State of California. 

By this week the issues caused by the system pressure test, which was part of SSJID’s routine maintenance on their system, are expected to subside and normal water delivery from the wells that primarily serve Lathrop residents is expected to continue. 

The city says the system will be monitored to ensure compliance with drinking water standards, and that prolonged changes to taste, odor or color of the water should be reported to the Lathrop Public Works Department for follow-up and possible remediation. 

Additional information about the city’s water delivery system, including annual reports and a detailed breakdown of water quality in the city, can be found by visiting The release posted by the city on July 3 about the potential changes to the water can be found at the city’s main website at 

Last week, Lathrop Mayor Sonny Dhaliwal said that he had received complaints from residents about strange smelling water coming from the taps, and sat down with city officials to try and pinpoint the nature of the problem and see if there was anything that could have caused the unexpected change. 

Like most cities throughout the northern San Joaquin Valley, Lathrop gets the majority of its water from a number of ground wells that pull from two different aquifers, and the city has gone to great lengths to ensure that its drinking water meets the ever-tightening state standards. 

For example, when a particular well tested above the threshold for naturally-occurring uranium, the city used the water from another well to blend the water and lower the levels to an acceptable standard. When the state tightened the regulations for the acceptable measurable levels of arsenic, which is also naturally occurring, the city built a special removal facility at its corporation yard that uses a state-of-the-art process to bind media to the arsenic and remove it from the system, thus purifying the water and making it safe to drink.  

Any concerns about ongoing changes to taste, color or odor of the water coming from a residential tap can be addressed by contacting the Lathrop Public Works Department at 209.941.7430. 

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.