In order to combat the misinformation that was put out by the community on the Seaside Municipal Water System back-up well, we wanted to ensure people received the most accurate information as soon as possible.
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The Seaside Municipal Water System (SMWS) serves about 800 connections. The service area extends from La Salle Avenue south to Hilby Avenue, and from Yosemite Street east to General Jim Moore Blvd. Other portions of the City are served by California American Water (Cal Am) or by Marina Coast Water District.
SMWS provides groundwater from the Seaside Subbasin of the Salinas Valley Groundwater Basin.
Yes. The Seaside Subbasin is an adjudicated water source, so we and the other pumpers have legal rights to the water and allocated shares of the available supply.
SMWS has one active water well, well no. 4, drilled in 2001. The back-up well, well no. 3, failed several years ago after almost 50-years in service.
Yes. Public water systems need to be reliable. For systems using groundwater, that means you need two or more wells, with the ability to meet customer demands when the highest-producing well is out of service for maintenance.
SMWS has a mutual aid agreement with Cal Am, and during maintenance periods we purchase water from the Cal Am. It costs more to purchase water than to pump it ourselves, so we only use this during emergencies. For example, the pump on Well no. 4 needed repair work during July 2022, and the price SMWS paid to CalAm was $17.65 per hcf versus our cost of $10.60 per hcf. CalAm rates are anticipated to increase in the next year (and years to come) to address desalination, recycled water, and other costs associated with augmenting CalAm’s water supply.
Wells can last 40 to 80 years. Well no. 3 lasted about 50 years. Electrical components (motors and control panels) require periodic upgrades and repairs.