March 2023 Update. The new Poppy Hills well is pumping 900 gpm (gallons per minute). We are still waiting on PG & E to set up the electric connection so that we can install a permanent pump. However, that we are able to pump so much at this time with a temporary pump is a good sign. The council has reviewed the possibilities of repairing the Ridgewood and Kona wells, which are currently impaired. After careful consideration, the council will conduct an assessment of the Kona well first, and once it is determined what needs to be done with that well (if anything), the council will then do an assessment of the Ridgewood well. Based on the findings of these assessments, if it appears to be financially feasible to repair either well, the council will make a determination. To be sure, sometimes repairing an impaired well can be as expensive as drilling a new one. In the meantime, water from the CWD (Chowchilla Water District) is still available at $10.00 per acre foot. This is an inexpensive means for us to push water into our lakes while we plan for the future (e.g., what to do about the Ridgewood and Kona wells).
January 2023 Update. The WRC is working to resolve a problem in the flow of water between the lakes on Block 14 (e.g., Spyglass area) and Block 12 (e.g., Pheasant Run area) in Greenhills. The Council believes there is a clog in the pipe that runs underground for about a thousand feet between the two lakes. Excavation began on Thursday, January 19, delayed because of all weeks of wet weather. Although the clog has not yet been found (excavation and camera checks through the pipe must proceed at about 150-foot intervals), initial excavation has revealed at least one problem regarding how the pipes were originally laid in the 1990s that cause additional problems for the flow of water. We hope to have some resolution on this matter soon and the council will meet to determine what action to take once the excavation and check is completed. In the meantime, water levels continue to rise in the much-affected Block 8 area of Greenhills (i.e., The Cascades) and the new well’s pump and meter are scheduled to be installed in May, 2023, pending PG & E. In the meantime, that pump will continue to operate under propane power. We also report that both the Kona well and the Ridgewood well have ceased to operate (i.e., they have failed). The council will look at possibilities for resurrecting/repairing either or both wells once the above-described issues have been addressed and resolved.
October 2022 Update. The Water Resource Council would like to take this opportunity to provide an update to all entities that use water in and around Greenhills, Pheasant Run Golf Course, The Villas and The Lakes RV Park. We have made great strides in procuring this new water source, but, we still have many challenges to overcome.
The equipment you see lying on the ground around the site of our new well is the temporary pump, shaft and column that were used during the “development” of our new well. This process included several days of pumping water, testing of drawdown and acquiring information to design our new pump system. The good news is we were able to capture that water through a temporary discharge and divert it directly into water feature 12.
Now that the development pump has been removed and our new pump has been designed, we should be seeing installation of our new pump in the next 10 – 15 days. Although we will have our new pump installed and ready to use, we still have the issue of a power source for the new pump. Just prior to starting the drilling process we applied to PG&E for an upgrade to our current electrical service at the well site. We received correspondence from PG&E that our application has been accepted but due to delays beyond their control we will not receive a contract or plan until May of 2023. We have requested that PG&E customer service escalate our application and to please consider the fact that this delay affects not only a golf course but an entire community.
We are currently looking into different options for an Industrial Power Unit to provide a temporary solution to be able to pump water until we receive our electrical upgrade. While this is not an ideal situation, it will allow us the ability to fill lakes and water features without being reliant on PG&E in the interim.
Our goal is to continue working together to come up with viable options that can sustain our needs for now and the future. With lower temperatures and reduced need for golf course irrigation we hope to see rising water levels throughout the communities in the near future.
We will continue to update all of you as information becomes available. Thank You for your patience.
September 2022 Update. Drilling of the well is complete and water was reached. Currently, there is a temporary pump on the well. We are aiming for 800 gallons per minute, an achievable goal based on initial test results. The WRC has identified a turbine driven pump that will save money in the long run in terms of down-the-road repairs and operating costs. That will be installed upon delivery (to be determined).
Lakes that are low (those in the Block 8 and Block 12 areas of Greenhills), should begin to rise soon. However, it will take several months to reach full capacity for each lake. The irrigation pond, which feeds into Block 8, will rise first and then water from it will be pumped into the Block 8 lake. For Block 12, a repair needs to be conducted on the pipe that runs water from Block 14. Once completed, that lake will begin to rise from the gravity fed system.
August 2022 Update. In June 2022, the WRC began the drilling of a new well, authorized by both the City of Chowchilla and the County of Madera. The intent is to replace and/or supplement the existing wells that are in need of repair or are nonfunctional. Note: that the entities represented by the WRC originally started with five wells, but over the course of two decades four have ceased to be functional, the latest being the "Kona well" (located in the K street area of Greenhills and Pheasant Run). The remaining well, located on Ridgewood, is not fully functional and is pumping minimal amounts of water at this time, approximately 200 gallons per minute.