FRESNO, Calif. - A new water treatment plant in Fresno will soon be filtering water from the Kings River, and delivering it to homes across the city.
The facility is near Fowler and Floradora Avenues. Historically, the city pulled it's water from the ground. Now they're switching to surface water.
The city wants to hear from the community on any thoughts and concerns they may have about the change in water. The first of three community meetings is expected to be held on Monday from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the Fresno City Hall Council Chambers.
Sprawled across 60 acres of land, the Southeast Surface Water Treatment Facility will soon take water from the Kings River, and filter it into more than 100,000 homes in Fresno.
Mike Carbajal is the interim assistant director with the city's Public Utilities Department. He explained how groundwater was Fresno's only source of drinking water up until 2004. He said today, the city gets a small portion of it's water from the San Joaquin and Kings Rivers, but continues to rely on groundwater for nearly 90-percent of it's supply. It's now time for a change.
"One, there was some groundwater contamination... And two probably a bigger issue is the declining groundwater. So the last 80 years, groundwater levels have declined approximately 100 feet," stated Carbajal.
We received a tour of the new state of the art facility on Monday. Carbajal said it should be up and running by mid-May, and it will allow for the groundwater wells to be replenished. He said nearly 54 million gallons of water, a day, will be pushed out of the water treatment facility. Customers may notice slightly softer water and stronger water pressure.
The city said it is aware of concerns customers may have, stemming from the Northeast Surface Water Treatment Facility that may have been tied to discolored water for homeowners in the area.
"We learned a lot along the way, and so we think that through the process of Northeast as well as working with our technical experts, our consultants in the design in this facility, that we have the right treatment process, the right corrosion control process, and that our customers will not experience discolored water when this plant comes online," ended Carbajal.
The city will have two more community meetings. For more information, click here.