Other Location Info
The Project site consists principally of Tract 92, a rural residential subdivision consisting of 98 lots, within the northwestern portion unincorporated Tulare County, approximately 0.5 miles southeast of the City of Visalia and 200 miles south of Sacramento off State Route 99 (SR 99) (see Figure 2 1 and Figure 2 2). The Project will involve Lot 25 (vacant), the southerly portion of Lot 38 (developed), existing rights-of-way within Tract 92 and roughly 5,300 linear feet (lf) of Road 148 right-of-way. The Project’s proposed and existing well sites and associated pipeline alignments (constituting the Area of Potential Effect or APE) are shown in Figure 2 3.
Tract 92 Community Services District (District) owns and operates a community water system that serves a residential community between Visalia and Farmersville, along Road 148 south of Avenue 280/Caldwell Avenue.
There are 98 lots and 93 unmetered service connections serving a population of approximately 330 people in the District. The water system was installed in 1961, and consists of two wells, approximately 7,800 linear feet of 4 and 6-inch asbestos cement (AC transite) pipe, wharf hydrants, and shared house connections between adjacent lots.
The existing Tract 92 well site is located on APN 127-072-27, a 25-foot by 90-foot piece of property south of 14837 Oscar Avenue (Lot 38). There are two wells, a 5,000-gallon hydropneumatic tank, an emergency generator with diesel fuel tank, and a chlorination system. Well 1 is approximately 250 feet deep and is equipped with a 40-hp vertical turbine motor. Well 2 is approximately 180 feet deep and is equipped with a 15-hp submersible pump. As detailed below, the existing water system has had water quality and capacity violations and appears to have reached the end of its useful life.
The water system has a history of bacteriological pathogens (total coliform) detected in the system. Since 2007, the District has added a chlorination system, however Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency continued to issue Notices of Violation for total coliform despite the addition of the chlorination system. There were also issues regarding maintenance of the exiting chlorination system. Sodium-hypochlorite solution, stored in a 35-gallon plastic tank and dosage pump housed in a garden shed, is injected into the pipeline leaving the pressure tank and entering the distribution system. A California Water Service (CWS or Cal Water) evaluation noted that the existing facilities are questionably secure and improperly protected for the safety of operators and protection of public health.
The water system was also determined to be unable to provide adequate flow or pressure to meet Tulare County Fire Department (TCFD) requirements for fire flow. Because of the existing pipe material and lack of isolation valves, repairs would be costly and the entire system must be shut down to affect repairs, and then disinfected in its entirety following repairs. For these reasons, it was determined that replacement of the existing distribution system, including isolation valves, service meters, Tulare County standard fire hydrants, and sampling stations should be included with all alternatives.
A Well Remediation Feasibility Report prepared in 2012 analyzed five alternatives from which to define a preferred project to correct the water system’s identified deficiencies. Alternative 3, described as a partial consolidation with the City of Visalia water system owned and operated by private water purveyor Cal Water, with a new District well and an emergency connection to a Cal Water pipeline in Road 148, was originally selected as the preferred Alternative. After further analysis in subsequent years, the District Board determined that Alternative 4 from the original Feasibility Report, described as a full consolidation of the District water system with the nearby Cal Water system, was the preferred alternative. Alternative 4 is further described below and is the proposed Project evaluated by this IS/MND.