West Hills Treatment Plant comes online

$30 million facility brings better tasting tap water

The new West Hills Water Treatment Plant, off Union Road by the San Justo Reservoir, began operation on September 12.

The new West Hills Water Treatment Plant is now operational and bringing higher-quality, better-tasting water to the west and central areas of Hollister.

A grand opening event is planned to celebrate on Saturday, November 4 at 10 a.m.

The treatment plant began operations on September 12, several months ahead of schedule. It’s now treating water imported into the county and blending it with local groundwater.

Local groundwater, the primary source of drinking water up to this point, is naturally high in dissolved salts. The new system will blend around 40/60 groundwater to imported water, which will help with the salty taste.

“Adding this new source of higher-quality drinking water offers so many benefits to the community, in addition to the greatly-improved taste,” said San Benito County Water District Director Sonny Flores, who represents the west side of Hollister. “With less mineral build up in appliances that use water, they should last longer. Residents can consider getting rid of their water softeners and buying less bottled water. Agriculture benefits by getting higher quality recycled water for irrigation use.”

The $30 million West Hills Water Treatment Plant was funded through a combination of county water district reserves, grants and rates paid by the City of Hollister and Sunnyslope County Water District customers.

As the new water is phased into the city’s pipeline system, it may dislodge mineral deposits left in the pipes, water officials said. It’s possible, though unlikely, that some homes and businesses could see a temporary change in the color of tap water. Officials said this is a normal effect of transitioning to a better water source and isn’t cause for alarm.

Color changes can be flushed out by letting the faucet run for a few minutes. The City of Hollister will also flush its distribution pipelines to help minimize effects and conduct increased water quality testing.

The grand opening event on November 4 is open to the entire community. The entrance to the West Hills Water Treatment Plant is around three blocks west of the San Justo Reservoir on the opposite side of the street (2544 Union Road). Look for signs and balloons that will mark the road leading up to the treatment plant.

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