On Monday, the Lamont Public Utility District (LPUD) announced that they had received a major grant from the State Water Board in the amount of over $25 million. The grant funding will go towards building three new replacement water wells and treatment systems in conjunction with the El Adobe Mutual Water District.
“The State funding through this grant is critical for the District’s ability to provide sufficient amounts of clean, safe drinking water to residents of this historically underserved, disadvantaged, and primarily Hispanic community,” the press release stated. “The grant award is a historical and monumental accomplishment for LPUD as it has never received assistance of this magnitude in its 80-year existence.”
LPUD is a California Public Utility District that was formed with the purpose of providing water and sewer service to residential, municipal, commercial, and industrial developments within its boundaries.
LPUD currently operates seven potable water wells throughout its service area and these wells have a combined production of approximately five million gallons per day. A press release sent out for LPUD stated that three of these wells have been failing for over 10 years.
LPUD explained that, from the surface, a failing water well looks like a regular water well — however, 700 feet down in the ground the casing, piping, well pumps, and related appurtenances are the working parts of the well that actually fail.
“Think in terms of a car. A broke down car looks fine in the driveway. But raise the hood and the motor is a mess, the tires are bald, the brakes are worn out and the transmission doesn’t work. Ergo, the car is failing or failed,” stated Scott Taylor, General Manager for LPUD. “In terms of the effect on the community, without the necessary capacity meaning enough wells to provide the requisite water necessary to sustain the community, then obviously there is a shortage. In our case, we have enough wells to provide water in lower demands months like the winter months. However, with summer heat water demand is higher.”
Taylor went on to comment that this is why securing this funding was so critical in order to restore the one well that has already failed and to replace three more failing wells before they fail and are considered broke down
This $25,378,596 grant will enable LPUD to provide clean, safe drinking water to the Lamont community and those within its service boundaries, including almost 20,000 Hispanic residents who are primarily local farm and agriculture employees.
LPUD anticipates that this project will take approximately three years to finish replacing three wells including water treatment on each of those three wells. During this time, LPUD also plans to add a consolidation of a smaller mutual water company called El Adobe which is approximately 81 parcels whose water supply is also substandard.
“Upon completion, El Adobe will be provided clean safe water from the Lamont Public Utility District in perpetuity. And with the addition of replacing three wells, the community of Lamont and surrounding area will receive the same benefits….clean safe water for a generation into the future,” Taylor announced.
Taylor finished his statement by adding that this process poses no threat to the community and that this project will only benefit the surrounding communities.
“We are providing safe clean water to a severely disadvantaged community for a generation into the future. This is historical and monumental. This is a very good thing for the people and community of Lamont and the surrounding area we serve,” said Taylor.