Lindsay catches up on water management

Lindsay’s council meeting at Lindsay City Hall.(Rigo Moran)

City council makes moves toward long term health of the city’s water system as they get closer to being in compliance with the state

LINDSAY – After years of trying to fix the myriad of water issues in Lindsay, the city has caught up on three fourths of their problems and has plans in place to maintain the water system in the future.

On Tuesday, Sept. 12, the Lindsay City Council voted to take steps to continue improving the city’s water system in order to fix ongoing problems. In their plans to get the water system up to par, the city focused on issues that were discovered in its water feasibility study conducted in May.

“We have a document that identifies the available water supplies for the existing and future needs of the city,” director of city services and planning Neyba Amezcua said at the meeting.

The document in question is Lindsay’s Urban Water Management Plan, a 20-year plan that the city must complete every five years to stay in compliance with the state. This allows them to plan ahead for how they will maintain enough water for the city long term as weather conditions change.

In 2021 the state required a list of changes the city needed to make to their water control system to comply with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. This helped them compile a list of improvements and deadlines to finish the water projects in Lindsay. The city has been catching up on changes they need for their water system for a while now.

Within this plan, the city identified a little over $1 million in capital improvement projects. Once Lindsay is in full compliance with the state, they will be eligible for even more grants to improve the water system.

“This had 21 outstanding deadlines, we were very behind,” Amezcua said. “So I’m happy to report that as of May of 2023, this is the last report that we have received…there’s a (remaining) total of five outstanding items so far (the city needs to address).”

Currently, the city is working on a corrosion control plan. One of the problems the city focused on in this plan was potential traces of cryptosporidium in the water from Well 15, which is the city’s main water source. Cryptosporidium is a parasite that can cause illness if ingested. The council voted to switch to Well 14 as its main water source until they come up with a feasible plan to remove the contaminate from Well 15.

The city continued to discuss the changes they need to make in order to decontaminate Well 11, which will allow them to greatly improve the amount of usable water at their disposal. The new Water Ad-Hoc committee, established earlier this year in May after their water feasibility study, has already started their meetings and plans to discuss the issues in more depth at their next meeting.

Back in May, the city voted to decontaminate Well 11 by building evaporation ponds. This project would be costly and requires grant funding to continue. After the Water Ad-Hoc meeting on Sept. 14,  the committee will report back to the city about their best options to move forward with Well 11.

One of the other ways the city is trying to deal with the water system is by hiring two new positions to manage the water and sewer system. This will help with the maintenance of the water system all year round and will protect the water system from problems that arise during flooding like turbidity, according to City Manager Joe Tanner.

Turbidity is the result of flooding when debris and other organisms don’t have time to settle before being drawn into the water system. This means the debris will settle in the system itself which will have to be flushed out. These new positions will help protect and manage from these problems by having more people maintaining the system, according to Tanner.

“Their job is to work on the water system, and if we have an emergency situation – like if we flooded again – they might have to do clean up,” Tanner said. “Given the amount of work that we had to do when our water system flooded, there’ll be plenty of stuff for them to do.”

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