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EPA Gives Lathrop $523,000 for New Water Well

Release Date: 3/28/2003
Contact Information: Leo Kay, Press Office, 415/947-4306

     The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded the city of Lathrop, Calif. a $523,800 grant that will fund additional water supplies to replace a well that had been threatened by contamination from a local Superfund site.
     The potential threat of contamination from the Sharpe Army Depot outside of Lathrop spurred city officials to take one of its five drinking water wells off line.  Using an aggressive water conservation program, the city has been operating on four water wells since then but needs an additional source to accommodate its growing population.
     "This funding will ensure that Lathrop has a safe, consistent drinking water supply for years to come," said Catherine Kuhlman, director of the EPA's Water Division in San Francisco.  "While the city has done a great job with its conservation program, an additional water source is still needed."
     Lathrop officials have run a water conservation program to prevent its wells and aquifers from being overdrafted.  Some of the city's measures include no landscape watering between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., along with more specific restrictions on businesses and individual homes.  Lathrop's population, which was 10,000 in 2000, is estimated to swell to 30,000 in 2005 and 60,000 by 2020.
     Lathrop officials, who plan on using the fifth well as a reserve system, will search for water sources low in manganese, a pollutant commonly found in area wells.
     The EPA designated the Sharpe Army Depot as a federal Superfund site in 1987 after discovering metals, pesticides and solvents in soil and groundwater at the site.  The Department of Defense continues to work on the cleanup of the 724-acre facility.