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Pleasanton council votes to bring wells back online in case of emergency during summer

Original post made on May 17, 2023

The Pleasanton City Council granted staff authority Tuesday to use the city's groundwater wells 5 and 6 as deemed necessary during this summer's peak water demands with the caveats that staff must test the wells every month.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 17, 2023, 3:22 PM

Comments (5)

Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 17, 2023 at 5:16 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Council did not discuss the cost of testing once a month. It is very costly. Staff could not state definitely that the lab can complete monthly testing. It was iffy per staff. City manager stated the water well 5 is safe to drink, that is not true, if there is one part per trillion it is not safe to drink. The EPA will not state water is safe when it is 70 PPT or 6 PPT which will be the requirement in three years.

Posted by Dean Wallace
a resident of Stoneridge
on May 17, 2023 at 5:55 pm

Dean Wallace is a registered user.

It's difficult to comprehend the priorities of our City Council majority and the City Manager. A year ago this was the most important issue to the mayor and every member of our City Council. During the 2022 campaign cycle, every single candidate said that addressing the unacceptable PFAS contamination in Pleasanton's wells was a top priority. No need for "clarity" - it was clear.

So what's changed? Not the water in the wells! It's the same exact water in those wells, with the same contaminants in it.

What's changed? Well, election season is over, and so folks now have some new pet projects, i.e. “priorities”, and they'd rather use the money on those things rather than ensuring that we have access to clean and safe water to drink. And the Mayor and the majority feel they don't require any additional community input on those new priorities. Don't like it? Too bad. They won, so deal with it.

It's also the misguided priorities from a City Manager who is more concerned about his compensation package, rather than LEADING the City, and working to fill the many key job vacancies in City Hall - vacancies in a building that's rapidly aging and put to shame by our neighboring cities. (There's no need for any metaphor here, the cockroach traps speak for themselves.)

Most everyone agrees about one thing: Pleasanton water stinks! Take a peek at "Pleasanton Rants and Raves" on Facebook. No, there's no question Pleasanton water is ALREADY bad. I triple filter mine. And every two days I have to wipe & scrape the residue of contaminants and minerals that builds up around my bathroom and kitchen sinks. But rather than invest in a solution to clean our contaminated wells - to ensure safe and clean water - the City Council just voted to say loud and clear: "You think the water is bad now? Well, we think it can still get just a *little* worse!"

Last year the Mayor and Council majority said addressing our contaminated wells was a top priority. And Pleasantonians agreed. What changed?

Posted by Dean Wallace
a resident of Stoneridge
on May 17, 2023 at 7:57 pm

Dean Wallace is a registered user.

One additional point: There's another big city expense that continues to grow considerably under this Mayor, Council majority, and our City Manager, and those are consulting fees. Bills from overpaid, outside, consultants.

We pay higher and higher consulting fees because the City Manager *chooses* to run our City this way. He recently gave himself a raise, before he's gotten around to filling more of the many vacancies on our City staff. Adding new staff, who could do lots of this work in-house, would bring down costs in the long-term - rather than constantly doing one-off consulting contracts that outsources skills and knowledge - and degrades the capabilities of the City over time.

There's been recent evidence of this already occurring. At one Council meeting a basic question was asked of the water expert on our City staff about what the contractual obligations the City has with Zone 7. The response? He didn't have one. Because he didn't know. "That's something our new consultants are going to take a look at..." was the response - from our City staff member overseeing the City's water operation! He couldn't answer a basic question on our contract with Zone 7. Neither could our City Attorney (who also recently got himself a raise, and who also oversees the ever-increasing legal fees our City has been incurring).

These things MATTER. We are paying a real premium because our City Manager refuses, or is unable, to do the job of hiring and filling critical vacancies on City staff. If there's ever a question the City can't answer, or doesn't have the bandwidth to address, the response is always to hire a consultant.

Cities don't have to be run this way. It's costly outsourcing, and creates gaps in our City's institutional capabilities and knowledge when dealing w/very serious issues like our water crisis, and our fast-approaching aging infrastructure and sewage issues. And in the end taxpayers end up bearing the costs of these inefficiencies and gaps in knowledge.

Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 18, 2023 at 6:13 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Majority Vote on City Council is Damaging Pleasanton:

The majority vote on the Pleasanton city council is throwing taxpayer money where it absolutely is not needed. The skate park, an old house on Santa Rita Road, Consutants, it is a long list of spending taxpayer money wastefully.

Look At What Zone 7 is Doing with Water:

Stoneridge treatment facility will treat 5,500-acre feet of water per year. it is expected to be online in August this year. Cost is $16.3 million.

The Chain of Lakes treatment facility will treat 8,600-acre feet of water per year. Construction is expected to begin soon and be online in August 2024, Cost is $24.4 Million.

Pleasanton uses less than 3,500-acre feet of water. The money the council majority is throwing away on pet projects would take care of Pleasanton water requirements.

Posted by MsVic
a resident of Mission Park
on May 19, 2023 at 7:17 am

MsVic is a registered user.

Based on the decisions being made by the majority of 4 council members perhaps it’s time for a recall. The skate park is Testa’s pet project.

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