The recent news reports that the city of Coalinga may run out of water are unfortunately all too familiar to Dos Palos residents.
Twice in the last few years, the taps in Dos Palos ran dry. The community receives its water from the California Aqueduct via a 17-mile pipeline, and during the recent dry years, algae blooms in the aqueduct have plugged up the pipeline, causing water levels to drop quickly, especially during the hot Central Valley summers.
Since the first water outage in 2016, city workers and engineers have worked diligently to come up with new ways of keeping the pipeline clear of algae and the water levels up.
“The city is always challenged with the seasonal algae bloom,” explained Dos Palos City Manager Dewayne Jones.
He added that the city has “notification triggers” in place with the Department of Water Resources should levels in the aqueduct change or any operations that affect the city’s water delivery. Plus, an operations plan for the aqueduct has been developed by the city utilities department to help mitigate any issues.
Jones also pointed out that the city is also in the process of rehabilitating a 750,000 gallon water storage tank.
“The added storage will allow for a total of two million gallons per day of storage,” he said.
The storage tank will be commissioned and placed online pending health department approval.
As always, Dos Palos residents are being asked to conserve water through a variety of ways.
Odd number addresses may water lawns and shrubs on Tuesday and Saturday. Even numbers may water on Wednesday and Sunday. No watering is allowed on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and no watering is allowed between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on any day.
New plantings, less than one year from the planting date, such as new lawns, ground coverings, and trees may be watered any day except on Mondays.
If residents have difficulty in adjusting their sprinklers or landscape irrigation system, they can contact city hall to arrange for public works assistance.
Cars may be washed at home but only if the water source as an automatic shut-off to prevent run-off.
All Californians are prohibited from washing down driveways and sidewalks, watering outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes excess runoff, watering outdoor landscapes during or within 48 hours of any measurable rainfall, washing a motor vehicle with a hose, unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle, operating a fountain or decorative water feature, unless the water is part of a recirculating system, and restaurants and other food service establishments can only serve water to customers upon request.
The city may issue citations for violations. The first offense will entail a fine of $25, the second $100 and the third or more $250.