Westwood district takes steps to secure USDA loan
The Board of Directors for the WCSD approved the loan pre-application at its September meeting.
Problems with the springhouse were first discussed in 2003 when test water samples revealed coliform bacteria, which resulted in the district regularly adding small amounts of chlorine to the water source.
At that time Chuck Anders, who was the district manager, and his assistant, Rob Compton, tried to track down the source of the contamination. They suspected that the springhouse, the structure that covers Walker Springs, Westwood’s water source, was the problem. The springhouse, which is over 30 years old, was built close to the top of the water. During certain times of year, when it is cold outside, so much moisture gathers on the rafters it rains inside the building and the moisture could be creating mold, but the springhouse design makes it difficult to check for such problems. The roof is so low workers would have to put on wetsuits to crawl around inside, Anders stated in 2003.
The district has been setting money aside in a capital improvement fund to cover the project.
A need pinpointed in recent years is the installation of water meters. The current managing director, Randy Buchanan, said he foresees the state of California requiring meters in five to 10 years and in this way the district will be ahead of the process. In addition, the state case and desist order on the sewer system, issued because a pond overflowed a few years ago, names water meters as one of the improvements that must be made.
Buchanan said water meters would benefit the community. There installation should help save money on pumping costs and generate more revenue from people who waste water. Also with meters water use at every house can be tracked, so no one can list a house as vacant and then turn the water on and off in the alley to avoid payment.
A new generator is listed on items needed for the improvement of the water system because the current one used to run the pumps during power outages is over 40 years old.
Buchanan said the district did not know when it would receive a response from the USDA on the loan. If approved by the summer of 2009, work on both the springhouse and installation of meters could begin.
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