Water, as a precious resource, is about to get a little pricey for Oakdale residents.
At Monday night’s Oakdale City Council meeting, March 6, members of the panel discussed cleaning up portions of the city’s municipal code in preparation for the upcoming plans to overhaul the aging water system currently serving the city.
A public hearing is slated for Monday, March 20 at the next city council session to discuss the upcoming implementations.
According to an information packet released by the City of Oakdale, the need for new infrastructure and updated piping requires an infusion of resources, which can only be accomplished through a rate hike for residents.
Of the eight water-producing wells, three are in dire need of replacement, exceeding their 50-year expected life span by several decades. A fourth well, at 46 years old, is nearing its end as well.
The estimated cost of replacing the three wells is approximately $4.5 million.
And, while Oakdale residents have typically enjoyed clean, bountiful water, the overhaul is overdue by two years.
The city’s 2003 Master Plan recommended well replacement in 2015. Further delays in the plan could result in water shortages and well failures.
There are 13 miles of water line, 60 years old or older, needing to be replaced in the downtown area, which include accompanying fire hydrants.
The cost for replacing these affected lines is estimated at $8.1 million.
The current lines do not meet modern standards and as time goes on will become more costly to maintain.
In the event of a catastrophic failure, broken pipes could lead to severe street and property damage, city officials said, as well as the risk of contaminants entering the city’s water system.
Additionally, as per state standards, water pressures are currently inadequate but the aged pipes cannot withstand the increased pressure.
While water conservation was effective as a means to combat the drought, with more people striving to use fewer resources, less use also resulted in diminished revenue.
A rate hike is rarely met with thumbs up by residents, but the City of Oakdale’s research showed that Oakdale remains with one of the lowest rates for single family residential water service in the surrounding city areas, with Waterford coming in as the highest on their graph.
Residents with questions or concerns are urged to attend the March 20 Oakdale City Council meeting.
An agenda will be available on the City of Oakdale website, www.oakdalegov.com, as the date approaches.