Public Health seeks state grant to modernize local water system reporting


drinking waterEL CENTRO – The Imperial County Department of Public Health oversees 4 of the 32 small water districts in the county according to director Robin Hodgkin.


Hodgkin told the board of supervisors at the regular Tuesday meeting that if the district serves less than 200 connections then that water district is regulated by the county, if larger, than the state regulates. Two of the smaller water districts are McCabe and Ocotillo.


California classifies three types of small water systems, which the county has 61 total.


Supervisor Michael Kelley, District 3, said, “It’s amazing how many different water systems we have jurisdiction over.”


The local water program is also responsible for assisting the operators of small water systems in navigating and complying with regulatory requirements and in assisting operators in securing funds thought a variety of grant programs.


The local small water system program is called the Local Primacy Agency (LPA) and it is currently working with Palo Verde County Water District to navigate an expedited process to access approximately $1,300,000 in State Safe Drinking Water, a state revolving fund to replace both water tanks, replace or rehabilitate the existing well, and replace the old chlorine gas treatment system with a current technology chemical treatment system.


“We work with people to know the state standards and will extend time lines to bring them into compliance while they continue to use the water lines,” Hodgkin explained.


For the county to help implement the reporting requirements the state is making available a one-time grant in the amount of $163,000. The money will be used to train staff and upgrade the electronic reporting system.