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Methane leaks found at water treatment plant
Safety a concern, but risk low
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The Turlock City Council was briefed Tuesday night on methane gas leaks at the Turlock Regional Water Quality Control Facility that could pose a threat to the public.
Municipal Services Director Dan Madden addressed the Turlock City Council on Tuesday night to inform them of the leak and the possible danger of an explosion.  
Madden said that although an explosive situation is possible, there is a relatively low risk. However, the leaks will need to be fixed.
“My intention is to declare this situation an emergency,” Madden said.
An emergency declaration would allow City Council to grant funds to fix the leaks. Madden said that as soon as he gets more information, he will bring the issue back to the council to take action.
The leaks occurred in one of the anaerobic digesters at the wastewater facility. The digester creates and stores methane gas as a result of processing waste water. The methane gas is used to operate a Turlock Irrigation District fuel cell.
The digester has a floating cover that rises and falls with the level of methane. Madden said that a number of leaks were found in the cover, and the leaks are allowing methane gas to escape into the atmosphere.
Madden and city staff will collect more information about the leak and possible solutions and make a presentation to Turlock City Council by the first week in April.
To contact Andrea Goodwin e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.