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Late-night well drilling draws ire of a neighbor
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The city is drilling a new test well at the park, which is located off of Moffett Road on Riverpark Road. At least one neighbor says the sleep disruption due to noise and light is too much to take. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier photo

The late night into early morning well drilling at Riverview Park has at least one neighboring resident seething about the loss of sleep.

The city is drilling a new test well at the park, which is located off of Moffett Road on Riverpark Road.

"This is an extremely noisy endeavor," said Betty Campidonica, "and at the very least homeowners should have been notified of the city's intent to disturb the entire neighborhood all night on a Monday night when the taxpaying citizens of Ceres have to get up and go to work, kids have to go to school, all with no one getting a wink of sleep due to the noise and lights."

Campidonica, a former member of the Ceres Planning Commission, said the city should have notified neighbors of the impending disruption, which was to repeat Tuesday night and into this morning. She said she called police to file a noise complaint at 11 p.m. but was told the city is not bound by the noise ordinance when it comes to well drilling.

"A notification to all homeowners - who won't be able to sleep due to the high noise level - should be sent notification of what the heck the city is allowing their contractors to do, especially when they intend to break the law."

City Manager Toby Wells said he hopes that citizens understand that the process of drilling a test well is a "24-hour operation - there's no other way to do it."

Wells said the city finished a similar test well drilling operation near the Clinton Whitmore Mansion property in the area of Fifth and North streets two weeks ago and "didn't get a single complaint."

City contractors work at the city's direction, said Wells.
"It can be noisy but it's the only way you can drill a water well. Wells are several hundred feet deep and it's pretty difficult to stop. If you stop and you start getting cave-ins. You have to keep going."

Riverview Park has an irrigation well on site but the city is looking for additional drinking water sources. Wells noted that the irrigation well does not produce water that meets water quality standards for drinking.