Wells go dry at Gold Village
September 10, 2013
Residents of the beleaguered Gold Village subdivision remained without water Friday after two wells serving the 84-home Yuba County foothills community went dry.
Kevin Mallen, Yuba County’s community development director, said notices went to residents on Thursday notifying them that all water usage needs to stop in order for the tanks to refill. He said a portable water tank has been placed at a park in the development, and bottled water was being delivered to residents.
The subdivision is on Hammonton-Smartsville Road, northeast of Beale Air Force Base.
A notice distributed late Friday afternoon said all water must remain disconnected until Monday in order for the tank to refill. However, because the system has to be flushed and the water will be considered nonpotable, indoor water usage shouldn’t be resumed until Wednesday.
Resident Ariel Cantrell said she has been a Gold Village resident since 2009. She said residents should have been told in advance that the supply of water was getting low.
“We came home, and there were signs at the door telling us we had no water,” Cantrell said.
Mallen said the county became aware of the issue when residents called that there was no water pressure and that the tanks were low. He said a well driller was sent to check the well as soon as the county became aware of the shortage.
Though the subdivision has had ongoing sewer problems, Cantrell said she was unaware there was an issue with water. She said she didn’t know restrictions on watering vegetation extended to a need for indoor conservation.
“We were never told there would be a water shortage,” she said.
Property owners pay $324 a month for sewer and water service. The high rate is the result of the original wastewater system failing and the county taking over operations from a community services district in 2008 and replacing the treatment plant.
However, Cantrell said when she bought her home, she was told the high bill would be temporary.
“It’s not OK to be lied to and sucked into buying because the county needs property taxes,” Cantrell said.
Mallen said the problem stemmed from the overuse of water in the two wells that serve the community, which was developed in the 1990s. “During the summer, when people water lawns, they can overdraw the system,” he said.
Mallen said that over the past 48 hours, homes in the subdivision used 77,000 gallons of water. A household typically uses 300 gallons a day, he said.
The Gold Village water system consists of two wells and a 255,000 gallon tank.
Eric Vodden is a reporter for the Marysville Appeal-Democrat.
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