City To Begin Using City Water Wells Again As Partial Source

Press Release posted 12/9/15 – On November 24, 2015, Sierra Madre City Council directed staff to begin operating on the City’s wells; a move that would return Sierra Madre to its historic water source. Due to low water levels in the aquifer, the water being pumped from the ground will be augmented with imported water placed into the City’s spreading basins for groundwater recharge. The reactivation of the City’s wells is intended to alleviate the water discoloration issues that have plagued much of Sierra Madre for the last two years. The reduction in water discoloration will not be immediate. Some neighborhoods may see a spike in discoloration before the water distribution system stabilizes and water clears.

The reactivation of the City’s wells is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, December 16, 2015.

Customers may notice a chlorine odor to the water and some may notice a taste difference during the transition from chloramine to chlorine disinfected water. The water will be safe to drink and cook with, however it may be necessary for some customers to run their faucets a few moments to allow the water to clear before using it.

This action by the City has been done with the approval of the California Department of Public Health – Division of Drinking Water, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the Raymond Basin Management Board.

It is not expected that the use of imported water for groundwater recharge will have an adverse effect on the groundwater supply. The Raymond Basin Management Board has approved the use of the imported water as a one-year pilot project and will assist the City of Sierra Madre in stringently monitoring groundwater quality.

The need to conserve water in Sierra Madre remains critical. The return to wells does not signal an end to the drought and groundwater level remains extremely low. Replacing groundwater with imported water is the only way the City can operate the wells for the foreseeable future.

If you have any questions, please contact Director of Public Works Bruce Inman at (626)355-7135 ext. 801 or Deputy Director of Water Jose Reynoso at (626)355-7135 ext. 813.