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By Toni DeRosa
Wasco Tribune 

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Toni DeRosa | Wasco Tribune

Thomas Jefferson Valedictorian Zayda Orphineda Herrera, ASB President Madison Martinez and Salutatorian Priscilla Raya.

The city is experiencing mechanical issues of two of its five water wells, Mayor Tilo Cortez told residents on Friday.

The city alerted the public by a message from Cortez via Facebook and a press release alerting the residents of the problem.

"The mechanical issues will require immediate repairs, which will begin as soon as possible and may last for several weeks," City Manager Daniel Ortiz-Hernandez said. "During this period, residents and businesses may experience below-normal water pressure.

Ortiz-Hernandez called an emergency council meeting at Saturday morning, May 30.

"The water pressure is very low," Ortiz-Hernandez said. "We still have water service, but until we finish Well #14, the water pressure will remain very low for those two wells."

He did state that once Well #14 is up and running, Wells #8 and #10 will each be turned off, one at a time, so the city will not experience disruption of water service.

Ortiz-Hernandez asked that residents take precautions and use water sparingly.

The city is currently in Phase 3 of a water conservation plan, which means

[BOX] Odd addresses (based on the last digit) may only water Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday.

[BOX] Even addresses (based on the last digit) may only water on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.

[BOX] All watering shall occur only between the hours of 12 a.m. (midnight) to 5 a.m. and 7 to 11:59 p.m.

The city is asking for the public's assistance in conserving water. It is asking for everyone to limit outdoor irrigation, filling of swimming pools and other nonessential watering activities to decrease the demand for water and its' impact on the system.

Ortiz-Hernandez said that If demand does not decrease, water pressure may drop significantly, posing a health and safety hazard to residents. "The city is working with the state Water Board on this issue and will continue to keep residents informed," he said.

The council unanimously authorized the city manager to obtain the necessary repairs needed and authorized him to spend what is necessary for the repairs.

Ortiz-Hernandez said that due to the extreme circumstance, the xouncil may consider implementing Stage 4 or Stage 5 water conservation measures until the water wells are repaired.

During Stage 4, the irrigation of lawns, gardens, landscaped areas, trees, shrubs and other plants are only allowed to be watered twice a week.

Under Stage 5, residents are prohibited from outdoor watering and irrigation of lawns and ground cover at any time. To see the complete list of restrictions during Stage 4 or 5, visit the City of Wasco's website.

"We ask our residents and businesses for patience as we work to repair our water system," Cortez said. "Please work with us to reduce the potential for more severe impact. To report water shortages or outages, please contact the Public Works Department at 661-758-7271. "

Ortiz-Hernandez said that if the water pressure gets too low, the residents on Almond Court might need to boil their water.

Ortiz-Hernandez provide additional updated information after the emergency meeting Saturday.

He said that the city is waiting for the cost estimate from the contractor regarding the completion of Well #14 and the repairs of Wells #8 and #10.

"The City Council approved moving forward with emergency repairs," Ortiz-Hernandez said. "Staff is in consultation with our water engineer and approval from the state Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water on the plan for repairs."

Toni DeRosa | Wasco Tribune

Palm Avenue ASB President Devani Caban.

He added that repairs will take 10-14 days depending on what issues are encountered and availability of parts.

He also stated that a mailer was being sent out Tuesday regarding the changes being made to the city's water conservation measures.

The changes to the city's current water conservation Stage 3 are necessary to maintain the water system's integrity and to prevent the potential hazards to human consumption, sanitation and fire protection due to the loss of water pressure.

Ortiz-Hernandez said that if the water pressure goes below 20, residents may have to boil drinking water for safety and health protection.

"We are hoping to avoid that by asking residents to limit their watering outdoors between midnight and 5 a.m. on whichever day they have been designated according to the odd/even schedule."

 

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