From 4 - 6 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Pines Resort, Madera County staff will lay out the plan for consolidating water systems of two districts at Bass Lake with the privately owned Bass Lake Water Company, and what options exist should residents reject the idea.
For years, water at both the Lakeshore (MD6) and Marina View (MD7) districts, containing about 130 homes, have contained excess levels of the carcinogenic substances arsenic, uranium, gross alpha, and manganese.
Currently, water systems at both districts are managed by the county. The idea is to privatize and consolidate the two districts into BLWC because the state will then provide grants for a water treatment plant, and other associated work, to bring water quality up to safe federal drinking standards.
“The state is basically saying I’m not going to fund a treatment plant for both districts individually, but I will if you consolidate them,” said Ahmad Alkhayyat, Madera County Public Works Director. “It’s the best way to minimize the costs of the problems ... so this is an incentive the state has given us, and the only way they’ll entertain the idea of any financial assistance is if we do the consolidation.”
Kassy Chauhan of the State Water Resources Control Board, at a public meeting last year, told residents should they reject the plan, their water rates would rise as high as $1,700 a month to cover the full cost of water treatment work.
Some residents disagreed, and still feel there are better options. Alkhayyat said the intent of the meeting is for public outreach and to discuss the plan. He said the public is welcome to attend and ask questions.
Details: Madera County Public Works Department, (559) 675-7811.