Potentially dangerous chemicals have been detected in Pleasanton’s drinking water, and the city council is considering ways to resolve the issue.
In 2019, persistent chemicals known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were found in the city’s groundwater supply, prompting the city to close one of three wells. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, exposure to certain levels of his PFAS can lead to serious health problems, including kidney and testicular cancer.
Water from the city’s two other wells, which provide 20% of Pleasanton’s drinking water, is considered safe according to federal standards. However, their PFAS levels are just below the safety thresholds recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The remaining 80% of Pleasanton’s water is purchased from Zone 7 Water Agency.
To address the PFAS problem, the city council initially launched a treatment and well rehabilitation project. But as the project’s price reached his $46 million, council members put him on hold in September and considered other options.
At a Tuesday night meeting, members of Congress agreed to sign a $263,755 contract with environmental firms Brown and Caldwell to develop a list of options for what the city should do next.
The City’s Water Fund will also provide up to $100,000 to cover legal services related to the project.
Options are divided into two categories. The first will look at how the city can continue to use its groundwater pumping system, including reactivating existing his PFAS treatment projects and exploring potential new wells. Another option is to purchase all of the city’s water supplies.
Consultants are required to develop a recommended action plan by December 2023, and the Council will be briefed on its progress on a quarterly basis. The first explanation he is due in February.
No formal public relations element was included in the deal for Alderman Kathy Narum. “Ultimately, no matter what we do, our water bills will go up significantly,” she said at a council meeting Tuesday night.
Mayor Gerry Beaudin said the city will keep residents updated.
“We’re going to make sure we have direct outreach so people know what’s going on along the way,” Beaudin said.
The city also plans to ask Zone 7 for multi-year planning going forward, rather than asking for an annual city water allotment.
“We probably won’t find a solution within a year, but I’m not going to wait until the end of next year to ask the question again,” Beaudin said. “We need to clarify the water supply relationship with Zone 7.”
At this time, the city does not encourage residents to filter their drinking water.