DOS PALOS, California (KSEE/KGPE)- U.S. Congressman Jim Costa and Senator Alex Padilla unveiled plans for a much-needed new water treatment plant in Dos Palos on Friday.
The new plant will be located right next to the old one and would take about 18 months to build. Costa said if all goes according to plan, the city will break ground in the fall.
Running water is a basic necessity for most, but for residents of Dos Palos, it’s an unreliable good.
Life-long resident Jerry Avala said his water has been shut off more than a dozen times since he moved into his home in the 1970’s.
The city’s residents get their water from the California Aquaduct. It travels 20 miles and is treated at a plant that is more than 50 years old.
In the summer, high quantities of algae and an outdated filtration system backlog the treatment system.
For three days last June, faucets ran dry, forcing hundreds of residents to wait for hours in line at City Hall for a case of water just so they could brush their teeth.
“We are the richest country in the world,” said Costa. “And to have cities like Dos Palos, where their water system shuts down or they can’t meet federal or state drinking requirements is simply unconscionable. Period.”
“We need to act boldly,” said California Senator Alex Padilla. “We need to invest in infrastructure that all of our communities will be able to count on safe water. Not just today, but for many, many years to come.”
The new plant will cost between $11-16 million and will be able to be used for 40 years.