Oceanside Water Department to monitor private wells

OCEANSIDE — Oceanside’s Water Utilities Department has more reason than ever to keep track of the quantity and recharge of the local water basin.

The state has mandated cities to provide information on local water basins during the drought.

“The intent is to try to understand what is the condition of the basin, and how are wells impacting its sustainability over time,” Jason Dafforn, interim city water utilities director, said.

To get a better picture of the health of the city water basin the water department will ask City Council to approve city monitoring of private wells next month.

Oceanside already tracks the quantity and recharge of city wells, which provide water for the city’s potable water supply.

“We get about 15 percent of our water supply from the local basin,” Dafforn said.

Dafforn said city wells are showing the effects of the drought, with slower recharge. He said he expects to see the same in private wells.

“It’s a true indication we’re not getting the type of recharge rain we need to keep the water aquifer producing they way it used to do.”

Numerous small private wells are used for farm and residential irrigation. Most are located within the eastern portion of the city, and were drilled or rehabilitated within the last 30 years.

“I’ve been seeing and hearing private wells have been so dry for so long, they’re not producing very well,” Dafforn said. “We’re not getting the quantity of water, it’s just not there.”

Data from all wells will provide a broader and more complete picture of the local water basin.

“The more numbers, the more knowledge, the better supply for the future,” Dafforn said. “Groundwater is something we don’t want to jeopardize or lose soon.”

The Water and Sewer Subcommittee heard department plans to monitor private wells last week. City Council is expected to give direction in                                  early August.

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