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Clean drinking water leaking from old pipe in Oceano

Posted at 5:46 PM, Nov 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-16 22:24:42-05

Oceano is dealing with an old, leaky pipe and some neighbors say they’ve complained to the district but haven’t seen any changes.

Jeff Stokes says he’s seen the running water outside his Oceano home for months now.

The old, leaky pipes are affecting his water pressure.

“I’ve called them hoping they would come and patch it or whatever, do some little thing to make it so it’s not leaking and that, but they don’t care,” said Jeff Stokes, Oceano resident.

The Oceano Community Services District (OCSD) says the 1950s pipe is problematic.

It’s something the board plans to replace entirely.

The general manager says the loss of water is being monitored after other leaks were discovered.

“This is drinking water, safe drinking water that is leaking,” said Paavo Ogren, OCSD General Manager. “Of course we want to preserve water because water resources are important, but it’s not waste water and it’s not a threat to health and human safety.”

They don’t know how much water is being lost but say it’s not affecting the community’s drinking water supply.

The district is dealing with many similar leaks. They hope to get more state-funded grants to pay to fix them all, but they most likely will have to raise the water rates.

“We don’t have a ballpark estimate of a potential water rate increase in part because we don’t know how much grant money might be available,” Ogren added.

About $200,000 in grants will cover the evaluation of the site, but more money will be needed for the new pipe design and construction.

Stokes says he doesn’t want to pay more for his water.

“I think that is wrong. We shouldn’t have to pay for their mistakes. I can’t help that they can’t budget their money properly,” Stokes said.

This pipeline is one of 31 projects the district says is due for a much-needed facelift.

The district hopes to break ground on the pipeline replacement project in 2019.

District leaders are asking for public input on a number of projects at their community forum Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Oceano Community Center.