HOLTVILLE — The day the Easter earthquake struck in 2010 was a long one for water plant operator Ricardo Ruiz.
He had to stay at the plant for two days, Ruiz said. Luckily, a new water tank had just come online.
Otherwise, the city could have been left without water as the earthquake severely damaged a 1.5-million storage tank, Ruiz said.
In fact, the damage was so severe that the tank had to be demolished a few months later. And since then, the city has faced various fines over its water quality.
So Monday’s ground-breaking for the new water tank means not only water safety in times of emergency, but also water quality safety for resident.
“We can live without fear of loss of water,” said Mayor Jerry Brittsan moments after the council and staff used golden shovels to pick up some dirt and thus mark the first day of construction.
The new 1.5 million water tank will also have a UV disinfection system that will reduce the city’s chemical input, said City Manager Alex Meyerhoff.
The tank is expected to be finished in September, he said, but expected to come online in October.
And when this happens the city will have more storage capacity and be more resilient in case of emergencies, according to Ruiz, as both water tanks will be operating simultaneously.
But the job of the council is not yet over with regard to the roughly $2.7 million project funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Monday, the council awarded the bid for the project’s geotechnical services to LandMark Geo-Engineers and Geologists.
The contract worth about $16,000 will be used to test material and observe site earthwork, reservoir excavation and reservoir soil foundation, according to a report to the council.
Staff Writer Alejandro Davila can be reached at 760-337-3445 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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