Water Woes Solved for Elk Trail Residents

Feb 27, 2013 10:25 PM

After their wells dried up around 2001, a Shasta County community has been placing faith in a new county water system. But when the Elk Trail water system was turned on early this year, not everyone got the water they were promised.

People downhill from the tank were perfectly happy, but residents uphill didn't have the water pressure required by law.

The new water system is a big change from what residents dealt with when they had wells.

“Before I would run out in the summer time. I am sure not going to run out now. My water is great. Good pressure and everything,” said Elk Trail Resident Gary Lockett, one of the first to hook in to the new system.

Most of the residents hooked into the new system are happy. But a design flaw has left a few parcels high and dry, and residents fuming.

Resident Steve Boyd says it did not take him long to find out something was wrong, “Only a month ago when they took the locks of the meter and the plumber came out,” said Boyd.

Boyd lives uphill from the system’s tank, and because of that he is not getting enough water pressure.

“Well I have 11 pounds of pressure at my meter when the tank is all the way full. That fire hydrant across the street is 11 pounds and both of those are substandard,” said Boyd.

Elk Trail residents want to make sure they get the 40 pounds of pressure the law requires.

“Nearly all of the infrastructure is in place, the one last thing to deal with is a low water pressure situation on the green mountain trail area,” said Shasta County Deputy Director of Public Works Al Cathey.

The county tried to cut costs by having residents install their own pumps. Steve Boyd did that, but still wanted a real fix.

“The problem is I could not sell my property or refinance it right now because I have a substandard water system,” said Boyd.

Supervisors solved the problem Tuesday, but it came with a big price tag.

“Well, actually it is more than $50,000, it’s a $50,000 engineering contract. The pump will provide 40 pounds per square inch at each of the meters,” said Cathey.

The bill for this multi-million dollar project will be paid back over the next 30 years by Elk Trail residents to the tune of 700 dollars a year.

They hoped the cost would drop but that's just not possible with the recently added costs.


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