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Ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure true of city services too

POSTED January 15, 2013 4:27 p.m.
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There is the old saying that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Anyone who owns a car or home certainly knows that is true. Regular maintenance on your car can prevent a whole slew of more costly problems. As can simple home maintenance and repair projects like having your chimney swept, changing the batteries in the smoke detectors, or fixing leaks. These basic maintenance/repair steps also are important for ensuring your health and safety too.

The same can be said of our city's water and sewer systems. The quality and security of our local water supply and the proper maintenance of our sewer system is essential to our family's health and safety - and the city takes the responsibility of maintaining these critical systems very seriously.

That is why we recently notified the community about the need to maintain these essential systems and the proposed updates to rates to continue to ensure your health and safety. Our local water and sewer systems are old -- some lines are as old as 80 years! Sewer lines, as they age, must be maintained more frequently, which requires specialized equipment. Some water wells must be treated to maintain water quality, and other wells need to be upgraded or replaced completely. Water lines must also be properly maintained to ensure adequate water capacity in the event of a major earthquake, fire, or catastrophic emergency.

Ceres has not only an aging water and sewer system, but our city, like every other California community, is hostage to many state and federal regulations. We must continue to meet these expensive regulatory demands, or face costly fines or lawsuits that affect the taxpayers.

The city has continued to work closely with independent engineering experts to ensure that only projects necessary for continued safe service are included in the proposed rate updates. Furthermore, careful attention has been paid to ensure that all ratepayers are treated equitably and fairly and that rates are kept as low as possible.

Unless we continue to maintain Ceres' water and sewer systems in an ongoing, fiscally responsible manner, necessary water and sewer upgrades will simply get more expensive. Like our own car and home repairs, methodical, regularly scheduled maintenance is the best way to ensure our community's health and safety while avoiding costly expenses in the future.

We invite you to learn more! For additional information on this important issue, please visit www.ci.ceres.ca.us.

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