Pleasanton, CA – At its Oct. 17, 2023 meeting, the Pleasanton City Council approved a plan to construct two new groundwater wells that will meet the City’s long-term water needs and maintain local control to ensure safe, reliable drinking water.
In September 2022, the City Council directed City staff to suspend the evaluation of the PFAS Treatment and Wells Rehabilitation Project in order to evaluate water supply alternatives that could replace the water previously supplied by the City’s existing groundwater wells.
The effort to find an alternative source for approximately 20 percent of the City’s water needs was rigorous, fast-tracked, and focused on the critical need to replace the loss of 3,500-acre feet of water supply, which is enough to serve approximately 10,000 homes, with a high quality, reliable and cost-effective water source.
While eleven alternatives were initially explored, the PFAS Treatment and Well Rehabilitation Project and three additional potential water supply alternatives were more thoroughly studied by Walnut Creek-based Brown and Caldwell, the largest engineering and construction firm focused on U.S. water and environmental work.
Among the alternatives considered, two alternatives involved water treatment solutions and one examined the purchase of water from Zone 7 to meet all City drinking water needs. The final option was the construction of two new groundwater wells located within the Bernal subbasin in an area located outside of the influence of PFAS contamination that would cost-effectively deliver to City residents high-quality, reliable drinking water needs each year.
The construction of the two new wells is expected to cost approximately $25 million and take three to four years to complete. With the highest reliability and lowest cost, the selected option is half the initially projected cost to construct a PFAS treatment facility and rehabilitate the existing contaminated groundwater wells which reduces the burden on future water rates. The City will continue to work with Zone 7 to ensure the new wells align with the local groundwater basin management plan and minimize potential PFAS contamination. The City will also explore cost-sharing possibilities with Zone 7 for the construction of these two new wells.
As the City moves forward with the design of the council-approved water supply alternative, a contingency plan is in place which includes the rehabilitation and construction of a testing facility at Well 8 only. If significant issues arise during the design and planning phase of the approved alternative, the City can pivot to this option before the construction of the two new wells begins.
“The City has invested significant effort in developing a solution to deliver PFAS-free water to our community, and we are pleased that this solution is leading us in the right direction,” said Karla Brown, Mayor of Pleasanton. “We appreciate Zone 7’s expertise and continued partnership with the City as we navigate the path toward securing additional PFAS-free drinking water sources for Pleasanton.”
More information about Pleasanton’s water quality, supply, projects, and conservation is available at www.PleasantonWater.com.
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