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Water Moratorium Ordinance

BE IT ORDAINED by the Board of Directors of Volta Community Services District (District) as follows:

Section 1. Purpose and Authority. This ordinance declares a water quality issue condition, Merced County regulation of septic tanks, and establishes a moratorium on new water service connections and will serve letters. This ordinance is adopted pursuant to Government Code section 54343, and other applicable law.

Section 2. Findings. The Board of Directors hereby finds and determines as follows:

a. The District currently provides water service to users in the community of Volta, California, including pumping and distribution of groundwater from a deep groundwater well for domestic, drinking water purposes. All domestic water is pumped and distributed from the District owned well.

b. There are serious ongoing primary drinking water quality issues with the existing groundwater well, namely the exceedance of Hexavalent Chromium maximum contaminant level (MCL). On July 28, 2016, the State Water Resources Control Board – Division of Drinking Water (DDW) issued a compliance order deeming the District to be out of compliance with the Hexavalent Chromium MCL.

c. Merced County (County), the authority that issues building permits for new construction in the District’s service area, requires a minimum of one acre parcel to install septic tanks, since there is no sewer system available for the Volta community.

d. The District’s long-term solution to address the water quality issue is to voluntarily consolidate with a larger water district. The larger water district, the Santa Nella County Water District, plans to construct a new deep groundwater well near the District service area and provide drinking water to the Volta community, in compliance with primary and secondary water quality standards.

e. The progress of the consolidation is underway, however, the construction of the well has not commenced and is probably at least 18 months away, and once started, construction is expected to take 12 months or longer.

f. The District recently consulted DDW concerning the current water quality situation and the District was informed that in light of the slower than expected progress on the new well, as well as the current water quality compliance order, the District should not accept additional water service connections, as acceptance of new water service connections could result in enforcement action by the DDW and Merced County.

g. Because of the foregoing situation, the District finds and determines that a water quality condition prevails in the District, and that the County regulation imposes restrictions on septic tanks, the District cannot continue to allow new water service connections and cannot issue will serve letters without restriction and regulation.

h. Sound and prudent water management practices require the District to serve only the existing users and not serve any new users or development.

i. Prior to adoption of this ordinance, the District Board of Directors held a duly noticed public hearing at which it heard and considered comments from the public regarding this ordinance.

Section 3. Restrictions on New Water Service. The District’s water service capacity shall be allocated, regulated and restricted in accordance with the following:

a. Existing users. All existing users of water service connections shall have first priority to the District’s water capacity and the District will continue to serve those existing users.

b. Government uses. On a case-by-case basis, the District Board of Directors may allow new or additional water connections to the District water system in order to accommodate federal, state or local governmental uses that will provide an important governmental service to the community.

c. Moratorium. The District shall not make or allow any new or additional water service connections to the District water system, accept any application for new or additional water service connections, or issue any new or extend any existing will serve letters.

Section 4. Duration. The restrictions and regulations set forth in the ordinance shall remain in full force and effect until, as determined by the District Board of Directors, the consolidation with the larger district has occurred or the foregoing conditions no longer exist. The rules and regulations set forth in this ordinance may be modified or repealed by the District Board of Directors.

Section 5. Misdemeanor. In addition to any other remedy or penalty provided by law, from and after the positing of this ordinance, it shall be a misdemeanor for any person to violate this ordinance. Any person convicted of a misdemeanor for violation of this ordinance is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, or by both. (Water Code 31106 and Penal Code ’19)

Section 6. Inconsistencies. If any provision of this ordinance is inconsistent with a provision of any other District ordinance, resolution, rule, regulation or policy, the provision of this ordinance shall prevail.

Section 7. Severability. If any provision of this ordinance is found by a court for any reason to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable, no other provision shall be affected by such finding.

Section 8. Effective Date. This ordinance shall take effect immediately upon its adoption.

Section 9. Posting. The District Manager is directed to post a copy of this ordinance in three public places in the District within 10 days after its adoption.

PASSED AND ADOPTED by the Board of Directors of the Volta Community Services District on the 2nd day of February, 2017.