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City agrees to deal for donated land for well
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City fathers believe a proposal to receive land on Crows Landing Road for a well site outside the city limits a win-win situation for the city and for an outdoor flea market venue.

The El Rematito Marketplace, located at the northwest corner of Hackett and Crows Landing, needs water from a municipal water source. The Quetzal Corporation, which owns the land, proposes to gift the land to the city for a new city well, as long as it receives water service.

The county is requiring that the flea market hook up to city water as part of an improvement plan.

Quetzal is also proposing to give the city $120,000 toward the cost of drilling a well.

"We feel the odds are good that we will find the quality of water that we desire," said city attorney Michael Lyions.

The proposal must first be approved by LAFCO, the Local Area Formation Commission, because it is an out of boundary water service.

Lyions said that the city could make a strong case from LAFCO to approve the proposal.

City engineer Len Guillette said he doesn't see much risk involved because preliminary tests have revealed that the water is good.

"It's really clean - it's scary clean," said Guillette.

The city has found it difficult developing more wells with clean water, said Guillette. The city is only able to keep two of its existing wells on line through expensive wellhead treatment.

Guillette estimates that it will cost $375,000 to $400,000 to drill and equip the Crows Landing Road well for service.

Ultimately the city is working toward supplying Ceres homes with treated river water through the Turlock Irrigation District.

The city has worked with TID to develop a regional surface water plant and delivery system. The plant is expected to be operational by 2010 or 2011 and provide Ceres with up to 10 million gallons per day of treated water.

The city has also built a new 2.3 million gallon water reservoir and developing more wells. One recent move to take less drain on the city water system was taking all city parks off the potable water supply and irrigating with onsite wells that haven't made the grade.