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Your health, safety - water and sewer needs

POSTED December 4, 2012 5:16 p.m.
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Our water and sewer systems must continue to be safe for residents. The quality of our local water supply is important to our community's health and safety, as is the safe treatment and disposal of its sewage. The city takes proper, safe and healthful operation of both systems very seriously.

That is why our City Council took action last week to maintain these important public resources and to ensure our community's health and safety by authorizing the city to present property owners and ratepayers with updated rates for their consideration.

In recent years, the city has focused on identifying the upgrades and maintenance needed to ensure the continued safe service of our water and sewer systems. Both systems are aging, with lines as old as 80 years and sections that have deteriorated. Additionally, evolving state and federal regulations, such as more stringent water and treatment requirements, impact our aging water and sewer systems. And, unfortunately, there are no state or federal funds available to cities to meet these increasing regulatory demands.

The city has worked with independent experts to evaluate what upgrades and rate adjustments are needed to continue to keep our community safe and healthy. Careful attention has been paid to ensure that all ratepayers are treated equitably and fairly, and that rates are kept as low as possible.

Ceres rates will remain comparable to our neighboring communities. In fact, Ceres residents will still enjoy lower water rates than residents in Modesto.

There are many ways families can save money on their utility bills. Fixing leaking plumbing and faucets can save almost 20 gallons of water per day. If you only run your dishwasher or washing machine when they are full, you can save between 300 and 800 gallons of water per month. By watering your lawn only when it needs it, you can save more than 1,000 gallons of water per month. The city also has rebates for purchases of certain water-saving household appliances. Please visit the city's website for more information (link below).

Clean drinking water and the proper disposal of wastewater are essential to our health and safety. Our local water supply must be properly maintained and protected to ensure clean, safe drinking water and secure, adequate water capacity in the event of a major earthquake, fire, or catastrophic emergency. For more information on this important issue, visit www.ci.ceres.ca.us.
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