Water agency begins operating demineralization plant

Plant to reduce water hardness through reverse osmosis

Zone 7 Water Agency has begun operating its new demineralization plant on Santa Rita Road, just north of Stoneridge Drive.

Through reverse osmosis, the plant reduces the hardness of groundwater pumped from wells that's supplied to the western part of Zone 7's service area, in Pleasanton and Dublin. It will be especially positive for those who live on the western end of the water agency's service area, which is where that water is primarily delivered.

The facility can remove minerals from up to 7.7 million gallons per day of groundwater, according to Zone 7 spokeswoman Boni Brewer.

"In the long term, all Valley residents will benefit from the plant's operation because salt removal from the groundwater basin will facilitate regional recycled water projects for irrigation use, thereby enhancing the Valley's overall water-supply reliability," Brewer said. "This is especially important in light of continuing concerns about the long-term reliability of supplies conveyed through the ecologically fragile Delta."

Hard water is safe for drinking, cooking and other household uses. However, a high content of calcium, magnesium and other minerals in groundwater over an extended period of time can shorten the life of plumbing fixtures and appliances, leave white spots on cars and dishes after washing and require more soap and detergent for laundry and other cleaning, Brewer said.

The actual mix of groundwater and surface water that reaches a particular customer's tap varies for a number of reasons. Under normal conditions, Zone 7 delivers surface water to southeast Pleasanton and Livermore. But depending on the time of year, it provides both surface water and groundwater to other parts of Pleasanton and to Dublin San Ramon Services District. More groundwater is pumped during dry or drought periods, summer peak demand or when water-treatment facilities are closed for maintenance. In addition, the City of Pleasanton operates its own groundwater wells to add to Zone 7 water supplies, which are not treated by the demineralization plant.

Some residents will see more of a change than others, Brewer said. In general, softened water will be served to about 20,000 homes in Pleasanton and Dublin for approximately nine months per year as a result of this project, she added.

The Mocho Demineralization Plant cost $35.6 million to plan, design and construct and is funded by water rates, connection fees on new development and a $740,000 Proposition 50 state grant. It will cost an estimated $1.5 million to operate it for the nine months planned each year.

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Like this comment
Posted by Where does the treated water go?
a resident of Danbury Park
on Aug 19, 2009 at 9:04 am

What areas will get the filtered water?

Our water quality is terrible, especially in the summer months

Like this comment
Posted by Need help to remove spots
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2009 at 9:07 am

Please Help!
How can I get all those awful white spots off the car, the windows?

I've tried glass cleaner, ammonia, vinegar.
Is there something that works?

Like this comment
Posted by tyu
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 19, 2009 at 10:39 am

Paint scraper that holds a razor blade. Available at Home Depot, Lowes, True Value in paint section. They make some about 4" wide so it works pretty fast on a window. It with look like bits of fake snow on the ground when you are done. As far as a cars paint the sell stuff at te auto store for it but a detailing spray should work on a well cleaned car.

Like this comment
Posted by raj
a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Aug 19, 2009 at 11:10 pm

Use diluted CLR to remove white spots

Like this comment
Posted by SteveP
a resident of Parkside
on Aug 20, 2009 at 8:56 am

SteveP is a registered user.

A solution of half water and half White vinegar in a spray bottle works on windows, although ti will take the wax off the painted portions of your car.
Try washing the car in the shade---it helps the spots from forming, assuming you dry the car immediately with a chamois or towels.

Like this comment
Posted by Grace Carlson
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 20, 2009 at 10:02 am

EcoWater Systems solved alot of hard water problems I was having throughout my home. The soft water is so clean that I'm saving money
on shampoo,detergents and my dishes never looked cleaner and totally spot free. I know I sound like a commercial but the results were FANTASTIC. Very affordable too! I was amazed and still am. Best investment I ever made. I can't say enough.

Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Soccer
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 20, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Water softeners and R.O. systems are the only real way to deal with this problem. Valley Plumbing sells and installs things like this if you want to deal with bags of salt and such. For the drinking water you will want to use a R.O. unit to remove the salt that is in your new soft water so you don't drink the salt tanted water that's not good for your body.

Like this comment
Posted by Yck
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on Aug 21, 2009 at 10:14 am

Just check my tap water, still tastes like dirty sock water, what a waste of money.

Like this comment
Posted by Need help to remove spots
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 4, 2009 at 3:21 pm

My thanks for all the ideas.
Will have to try a razor blade scraper- carefully so I don't get cut, or damage the glass.
The HomeOwners ASS'n controls the lawn sprinklers, and they spray on the cars - so washing in the sun is not the cause.
Sure hope the new "cleaner" well water will help. Jeb, when do we start to see it, and where?

Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Downtown
on May 22, 2010 at 6:45 pm

A year later, there is very little improvement. I live off bernal by the pusd office, and the water is still almost unbearable to drink. It smells awful and tastes worse. We have ecowater for the whole house, and reverse osmosis for the kitchen tap. That tap is th
e only true drinkable water. Waste of money? Probably. But we don't have any say. Wish our water tasted like San Ramon water.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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