Clovis officials said Thursday that they have had reports of discolored water from residents in areas served by the city’s water treatment plant.
The facility, which was shut down for the fall and winter months on Thursday, in recent weeks has been supplying about half of Clovis with water, said Scott Redelfs, assistant public utilities director.
Starting Wednesday night, the city got eight to 10 complaints of discolored water from residents in Harlan Ranch, in the northeastern part of town, and Loma Vista, which is in the southeast.
The color issue, caused by higher organic color content and concentrations of iron, is not a health issue, Redelfs said. The water, he said, is safe to drink or bathe in.
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Clovis’ discolored water reports come as Fresno deals with criticism and potential lawsuits over discolored water in residents’ homes that was not reported to city and state officials for nearly 12 years. During that time, Clovis officials had reported discolored water complaints. Fresno officials have been investigating the city water department’s complaint policies since January and attempting to fix water problems still being reported.
In Clovis, the water came into the plant this week with higher turbidity levels than the state allows, but was leaving the plant within state guidelines for clarity, Redelfs said.
As water drops in the reservoir, the outlet goes from midlevel to the lower-level water where it has higher mineral and particle contents.
Scott Redelfs, Clovis assistant public utilities director
The discolored water was traced back to a change in Pine Flat Dam, where water was being released from a lower outlet, closer to the bottom of the lake, Redelfs said.
“As water drops in the reservoir, the outlet goes from midlevel to the lower-level water, where it has higher mineral and particle contents,” he said.
The water was entering the plant with a brown tinge to it, but left the plant within state levels for discoloration.
The color was more noticeable when used in large amounts, such as in a bathtub, Redelfs said.
The plant was scheduled for shutdown on Oct. 1 for maintenance on the Enterprise Canal. The city shut it down Thursday morning, Redelfs said, and it will not likely reopen until spring, when demand picks up again.
The discoloration should diminish now that the plant has been taken out of service, he said.
The Clovis water treatment plant, near Leonard and Bullard avenues, has a capacity of 22.5 million gallons per day. The city generally runs about 18 million gallons per day through it.
Clovis residents with water complaints should call the city at 559-324-2600.