A sign in downtown San Juan Bautista reflects some of the sentiment in town about water issues and fracking.

With San Juan Bautista’s water woes continuing on through the summer, the city is offering residents water from a reverse osmosis station recently hooked up for the public.
City Manager Roger Grimsley during Tuesday’s council meeting reported that the city set up a reverse osmosis system behind the fire station to help residents deal with dangerously high nitrate levels in the water.
“We’ve designed it to where you can fill up five gallons at a time with containers,” Grimsley said.
Councilwoman Jolene Cosio had asked Grimsley to tell the public about the reverse osmosis option. She called the five-gallon amount “plenty for a household with a small baby” but not enough for a restaurant.
Residents since May have been told to stay away from tap water due to high nitrate levels. Those high nitrate levels can come from such causes as agricultural or septic runoff, while San Juan officials expect to drill two new wells – deeper than the current two wells with nitrate issues – in order to lower the contamination levels to a safe standard.
State water board officials have denied the city’s efforts to lift an order enacted in May barring businesses from serving the local, water with a warning that pregnant women and infants are most at risk.
While San Juan progresses with the wells, city leaders hope the winter rainy season might help dilute the nitrate levels in the water so they are consistently well below the 45 milligrams per liter standard.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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