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City to reduce groundwater contamination in downtown area

POSTED September 10, 2013 10:02 p.m.

Contaminated groundwater within the Downtown area may soon be a thing of the past as the City begins to move forward with a pump and treat remediation project.


For the past 15 years, the City of Turlock has been addressing a plume of Tetrachloroethylene, a volatile organic compound used as a solvent in the dry cleaning process, which has for years contaminated the groundwater in the Downtown area.


Tuesday evening, the City Council voted unanimously to approve an agreement that seeks to reduce the amount of groundwater affected by PCE by evaluating an existing “pump and treat” system – a process that currently pumps contaminated groundwater from approximately 50 feet below ground surface and treats it prior to releasing it into the sewer system.


After being appropriated $650,000 by the State Water Resources Control Board in 2009, the city used a portion of the funds to install the “pump and treat” remediation system. The system has since been deemed successful, leading to the State Water Board providing the City with additional funds to assess how the system could be further expanded to boost the rate of PCE removal.


Due to the specialized work required when addressing PCE removal, the Council opted to appropriate $172,810 to Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group, a California-based firm with direct experience in PCE remediation projects. According to the City, the project is fully funded by the State Water Resources Control Board and will have no impact on the City’s Water Enterprise or General Funds. 


On Tuesday the City council also:

-          Appointed Michael Cooke as the new Municipal Services Director

-          Appointed Sharon Silva as the President of the Mayor’s Economic Development Task Force, and Mike Brem as Vice President.

-          Awarded a bid to approve an agreement in the amount of $368,324 with George Reed Inc., of Modesto for intersection improvements at Golden State Boulevard and Del’s Lane.

-          Amended the Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities part-time employee wage scale for Fiscal Year 2013-14, to offer raises to part-time city employees on a quarterly basis until an employee reaches $10 per hour.

-          Affirmed City Manager Roy Wasden’s action of mailing a letter in opposition to SB 594, which would originally prohibit local government organizations to take positions on ballot measures that affect their members. According to Wasden, the bill has since been amended in a way that has removed opposition.

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