The City has always met or exceeded state and federal drinking water regulations and will continue to do so in the future; view the current annual water quality report here. As presented below, the City is undertaking additional actions to address water supply and quality now and in the long-term to continue to deliver safe, reliable drinking water to its 22,000 customers.
1. Is the City using contaminated ground water wells instead of continuing drought conservation?
No, the City’s top priority has been and always will be to ensure drinking water public health and safety standards are met for all Pleasanton residents and businesses. The City is prepared to meet all water demands, drought or no drought. Wise use of water by the City and our consumers is an important part of our water supply plan, and conservation is a key part of being good water stewards.
2. When would we need groundwater from Wells 5 and 6 to meet water demands this summer?
Use of Wells 5 and 6 is a last resort and would only occur when, and if, the City and State regulators are convinced the supply is safe for use, through continual monitoring of water quality. Groundwater from Wells 5 and 6 is saved to ensure we have adequate supplies no matter what our demands are in the months ahead and will only be used if the water meets or exceeds safe drinking water standards.
3. How do we know that water coming out of the tap is safe to drink?
The City continuously monitors the safety of its drinking water and shares that information in its annual water quality report. This report summarizes the data collected from hundreds of laboratory samples taken every year. The report can be found here.
4. Is our water demand expected to bounce back immediately to pre-drought levels?
Historically, demands immediately following a drought have never gone back to pre-drought levels, so chances of this are close to zero. Instead, users gradually fall back into old habits and water use grows over several years – not months – even during the hotter weeks of the summer following a drought. More recently, acceptance of climate change has resulted in reduced water demand. We know that conservation is now a way of life in Pleasanton and throughout California, and we’ll all do our part to responsibly use our water. Our new water reality is one of the primary drivers behind our decision to use wells only as a last resort.
5. What are the City’s next steps for addressing its water supply needs?
We’re already taking several actions to bolster our water supply. We’re making system enhancements to improve delivery of water for next summer’s peak demands. We’re also looking at options to improve the reliability of supplies while we address current and future regulations such as PFAS and other emerging contaminants. Once we finish that process in September, the City will adopt an improvement program and determine the best way to fund the design, construction, and operation of the new facilities.
View FAQs here.
For more information on PFAS, click here.
Completion by September 2023
In September 2020, the City began development of the PFAS Treatment and Wells Rehabilitation Project to address PFAS contamination and extend the life of the existing groundwater supply. This project would rehabilitate/replace existing well facilities and construct a Centralized Treatment Facility for disinfection and PFAS treatment of groundwater before distribution. The preliminary cost estimate of the project was $46 million, although costs have likely risen due to inflation.
Given escalating project costs – likely more than the estimated $46 million – in September 2022, the City Council paused the PFAS Treatment and Wells Rehabilitation Project and authorized staff to proceed with performing a Water Supply Alternatives Study. As of April 2023, alternatives (or combinations of alternatives that can produce 3,500 acre-feet/year) that have passed the initial screening will be evaluated in further detail, based on the criteria developed, include:
Deeper technical analysis and cost analysis is underway, based on which the preferred alternative will be selected and then implemented.
Completion by end of 2023
Completion in mid-2024
The City is planning for $4 million in infrastructure improvements to improve delivery of water for 2024 summer peak demands, including projects such as turnout improvements and booster pump stations.
Completion in 2024-2025
The City will perform a Recycled Water Master Plan to determine feasibility of obtaining additional recycled water users to maximize the City’s available sewer source supply. Included in the plan would be the identification of recommended infrastructure improvements and estimated capital costs to support recycled water system expansion.
The Recycled Water Master Plan will support subsequent efforts in developing a 2025 Urban Water Management Plan, which assesses the availability and reliability of water supplies and current and projected water use to help ensure reliable water service under different conditions. Capital improvement recommendations will be incorporated into future updates to the 10-year Capital Improvement Plan.
In addition to supporting the ongoing operational and service costs of delivering clean, reliable water to customers, funding will be required for:
Phase 1 completion in November 2023
Phase 2 completion by end of 2024
Rates have not increased over the past three years. To support water program funding, Rates will be adjusted in a two-phase approach. The first phase is underway following Council approval on April 18, 2023, to help the City maintain adequate funding for short-term operations and maintenance of the water system, replenish the reserves to Council-approved reserve levels, and better position the City to begin design of priority projects/programs including improvements to increase capacity from Zone 7.
The second phase will incorporate a plan to implement long-term management of the water system program including resources and the 10-year Capital Improvement Plan.
Completion in early 2024
The City will update the water financial plan that evaluates annual costs to meet expected operational service levels and to implement a 10-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The financial plan will consider financing options for the selected Water Supply Alternative and potentially other large capital projects recommended by the Water System Master Plan. The financial plan will be the basis for establishing budgets within the City’s two-year budgeting process and for setting water rates and connection fees. The financial plan will also consider increasing the fund balance for the recycled water funds to be less dependent on the potable water funds for contingencies.
Additionally, the City will conduct a resource evaluation that includes staffing, contractor support, vehicles/equipment, and software. The resource evaluation would balance program goals/level of service with funding and will be coordinated with the water system financial plan.
Completion by end of 2024
Water connection fees have not been updated since the 1980s and require adjustment based on the 10-year Capital Improvement Plan and, in particular, the recommended capacity improvements to support future growth.
The cost to upgrade and modernize infrastructure projects is too great to accomplish with funds on hand. The City has worked with a consultant to review three funding options: