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Water treatment plant not economical

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Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2011 12:00 am

Lodi City Council members Susan Hitchcock and JoAnne Mounce got it right when they opposed a water treatment plant.

Councilman Bob Johnson said that using surface water instead of well water is the best kind of groundwater recharge. He should have added, "If it makes sense."

I submit that a Lodi water treatment plant does not make economic sense.

Groundwater recharge with spreading basins usually costs about $50 per acre-foot when there is no cost for water and where major infrastructure exists. North San Joaquin Water Conservation District has offered water at no cost and conveyance facilities are in place at the district and within Woodbridge Irrigation District.

A single family residence in Lodi uses about 0.5 acre foot per year.

Treated water would cost approximately $1,000 per acre-foot. This is based upon the following annual costs: $1.2 million for water, $2.8 million for personnel and operations, and at least $2 million for debt service for the $36 million plant for a total of $6 million for the 6,000 acre-feet purchased from WID. Please note that I have not included the costs for the wells needed to supply the 6,000 acre-feet during dry years when the WID water will not be available.

The water treatment plant project would not help to correct the groundwater overdraft, but would maintain the correction at the same level that existed when WID provided the 6,000 acre-feet for flood irrigation. WID sold the so-called "saved" water to Lodi after flood irrigation was replaced by drip. So, the treatment plant would get us back to where we were prior to 2003. It would not improve upon the recharge being done before 2003 with the extra flood irrigation water.

It seems obvious that the city should be working with the two water districts to construct and operate spreading basing recharge projects.

Ed Steffani


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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Jackson Scott posted at 10:59 am on Fri, Mar 25, 2011.

    Jackson Scott Posts: 394

    Dave, I say that about every decision the CC makes.

    Did the city not hire some fancy consultant on this project before hand to do a feasibility study? If so they just hired the firm who would give them the answer they wanted.

    Such a beautiful and precious piece of land going to be used for an industrial plant that is economically a disaster. Nice job Larry Moe & Curly, errrr. Larry Bob & Phil.

  • roy bitz posted at 10:52 pm on Thu, Mar 24, 2011.

    roy bitz Posts: 506

    Thank you Mr. Steffani.
    Mr. Steffani has many many years experience with local water resources---the river and the ground water. I believe he is an expert on our local water resources.
    If his commentary cannnot delay the construction of this project, it will clarify the costs associated with it, the fact that it is not needed, and it will not help solve the ground water over draft problem.
    I hope one day, the LNS will list----all the costs associated with this project and tell of the benefits of this project. I don't expect the city to provide this documentation.
    Until then, I continue to call this project "Lodi's bridge to nowhere".

  • Dave Christy posted at 3:49 pm on Thu, Mar 24, 2011.

    Dave Christy Posts: 27

    Where was Ed Steffani when we needed him ? Instead of having educated water people making decisions on spending millions the decision was made by an ex-cop, a RealEstate appraiser, and a printer.

  • jacklyn bjork posted at 1:42 pm on Thu, Mar 24, 2011.

    jacklyn bjork Posts: 1

    DeBenedetti park, what a waste of time and taxpayers money. the field of weeds across the street from the park looks better than the field of dreams , the city of lodi planted. a waste of time and kentucky seeds. also we waste a lot on salary and gas for the water patrol to run around lodi this time of year , just to catch a few people watering at the wrong time. the city of lodi needs to wake up


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