Frequently Asked Questions and Videos
- The City of Dixon has been receiving questions from the community about the management of its water system. Learn More (Spanish)
- The City of Dixon acquired the water distribution system from Dixon-Solano Water Authority in 2014 and has served as a water provider to nearly 2,800 water connections (approximately 9,400 people). Learn More (Spanish)
- A recent customer survey showed that maintaining the integrity of our water system is important to you. It is to us too! We went on a tour with Josh Hudson, a water systems operator, to talk with him about day-to-day maintenance work and what it takes to keep the water system operating in top shape. Watch Here
- Dixon water customers want to know about water quality. Is it safe to drink? Why, at times, does the water have a smell to it? We talked with water system operator Josh Hudson about the intricacies involved with monitoring and testing the water system to ensure a safe, reliable water supply. Watch Here
- We’ve received a lot of water questions recently and we recognize a little insight goes a long way. Josh, Water Operator, has taken us on a brief tour of the Fitzgerald Tank Site. Take a look at ongoing maintenance work, and learn about past projects and planned work for the future. Watch Here
- The City of Dixon has created video shorts and presentations to address some of the confusion in the community about the water system and water rates. Take a look and check back frequently for new posts! Watch Here
- Customers have questioned why Industrial Well, which is only 43 years old, needs to be replaced. The short answer, the well is a converted agricultural well that is quite shallow compared to municipal wells, which are dug deeper and constructed to last longer. However, there is more to it and we’ve created an infographic to explain the reason for needing a new well. Learn More
- Customers who responded to a recent survey asked how revenues collected from water rates are spent. We have a simple break out to explain just that. Learn More
- Utility providers and ratepayers do not always agree on everything, but sometimes there is common ground. Take a look at what customers rated as important to them in a recent survey. Learn More
- Wonder why your water seems hard? Let’s look at the science behind hard water. Learn More
- The Water Operations and Maintenance Fund was started via a loan from the General Fund after the City of Dixon acquired the water system in 2014. View Timeline Here
Behind the Water Scenes with Josh Hudson, Dixon’s Water Operator
Onsite Tour of Fitzgerald Water Tank and Pumping Station
Why the Increase in Water Rates?
Paying more for any utility is no fun. However, in order to maintain the integrity of our water system, sometimes rates need to be increased. Please watch this short video for more details
Why does Industrial Well need to be replaced?
Industrial Well was constructed in 1977. Originally used for agriculture, it is the shallowest well in the water system with a depth of 800 feet.
Let’s break down the key components of a water well and point out information about what has been done in an effort to rehabilitate Industrial Well for normal use. Hover over titles in the diagram for Spanish translation.
Well components must work together!
The other side of the coin – Just like well components work together, so does a water well and a water storage tank.
Industrial Well feeds into the Fitzgerald Tank. When the well filling the tank is not operating correctly, it causes problems in the tank. The sanding created by the well resulted in a five-foot high pile of debris in the tank. Also, the failing oil pump in the well leaked oil into the tank, which mixed with the sand creating problematic sludge. Fitzgerald Tank, as a result, incurred additional costs in repairs because of the poorly performing Industrial Well.
Where are we today?
Industrial Well is on “emergency” standby for firefighting requirements. To date, rehabilitation efforts have allowed the well to limp along but after engineering analysis by industry experts, it is not financially prudent to continue to band-aid the problems with expensive, short-term fixes.
Fitzgerald Tank has already received extensive and costly clean-up and rehabilitation due to conditions created by the Industrial Well including massive debris removal, re-coating, and extensive pipeline cleaning. Now the Fitzgerald Tank is “backfilled” by the system as necessary.
The City has spent $534,000 to date on repair and rehabilitation efforts for Industrial Well and Fitzgerald Tank. A new well is scheduled to replace Industrial Well in the upcoming capital improvement program. This new well is needed to ensure the northeast water demands are met.
The City anticipates collecting about $3.3 million in revenue from rates in fiscal year 20/21. Let’s take a look at how the revenue is allocated.
We know utility providers and customers don’t always see eye to eye. Take rates for example. In a recent customer survey, 80 percent are unhappy about their water rates.
We get it. No one wants to pay more for any utility.
Here’s where we agree.
An adequate rate structure means we can provide what our customers see as most
important to them.
We’re in this together: Building a sustainable water system for the future.
What is Hard Water?
We receive a lot of questions about Dixon’s water being “hard”. Hard water has a higher mineral content and contains magnesium and calcium ions. A common practice is to use a salt-based water softening system, which exchanges the “hard” ions to “soft” ions commonly sodium or potassium. However, this method is not necessarily good for the environment, especially in Dixon.
Here’s a little history. In 2008, Regional Water Quality Control Board issued a Cease and Desist Order because ground water monitoring in the vicinity of the Wastewater Treatment Facility showed that levels of sodium chloride and brine were high and in violation of normal discharge requirements. High levels of these minerals were in part attributed to residential water softening systems that used salt to “soften” their water. The City of Dixon issued an ordinance in December 2008 to ban these systems in order to gain compliance for its discharge requirements.
There are ways to safely “soften” your water. Visit http://bit.ly/SoftWaterAlt for a list of resources, such as softeners for residential use, and local plumbing contractors for more information. Please contact the Building Department at (707) 678-7000 for information about permits and allowable systems.
We’ve been receiving some questions about a “loan” taken from the City of Dixon’s General Fund Contingency Fund and transferred to the Water Operations and Maintenance Fund in 2014 after the City of Dixon acquired the water system. Let’s take a look at the initial funding and the timing of repayment.
February 2014: City Council adopts Resolution 14-022 that allowed a transfer of $350,000 from the City’s General Fund to the Water Operations and Maintenance Fund. Its purpose as stated, “The Interfund loan proceed shall be used for the purpose of start-up and one-time costs to establish the Dixon Water Operations & Maintenance Fund that may include professional services, operations, engineering, legal fees and the establishment of reserves.”
It’s important to note that City Council adopted Resolution 18-041, which would have allowed for a $500,000 loan. The reserves in the Water Operations and Maintenance Fund were sufficient to not need the loan for daily O&M and therefore the loan was not taken from the General Fund.