TUD reactivates wells in East Sonora area

By Alex MacLean, The Union Democrat

Tuolumne Utilities District is reverting communities in East Sonora back to formerly used well systems and customers in that area may notice a difference in the smell and taste of the water from their tap.

Three wells were reactivated in the past couple weeks, and more will be soon in order to ensure supply for customers in East Sonora and the surrounding communities, including Apple Valley, Phoenix Lake, Scenic View, Mono Village, Lambert Lakes and Mono Village.

The district plans to notify customers in those areas that groundwater from the wells contains iron and manganese at levels that can affect taste and odor but is safe for consumption, General Manager Tom Scesa said at a public TUD board meeting Tuesday night.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does not enforce testing for iron, manganese and 13 other contaminants because they are not considered threats to human health. The EPA says water with high levels of iron and manganese usually has a bitter taste, metallic odor and can leave behind traces of sediment and black or rust-colored stains.

Christopher Link, manager of the Best Western Sonora Oaks Hotel in East Sonora, addressed the issue at Tuesday's meeting because the hotel's service water has been leaving behind a residue.

"This is causing real problems in my hotels," said Link, who also manages Inns of California in downtown Sonora. "I'd like to have you consider it and see if there's something you can do to change the situation."

For the complete story, see the March 26, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

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