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Los Osos CSD gets permit to drill new well away from ocean 

Los Osos is one step closer to breaking ground on a key project to secure its water basin.

On March 4, the Los Osos Community Services District (CSD) received a San Luis Obispo County permit to start work on a new municipal well project—which will replace an old CSD well closer to the ocean, which experts say is contributing to, and being impacted by, seawater intrusion.

click to enlarge NEW WELL The Los Osos CSD got the green light from SLO County on March 4 to drill a new municipal well near the center of town. - MAP COURTESY OF SLO COUNTY
  • Map Courtesy Of SLO County
  • NEW WELL The Los Osos CSD got the green light from SLO County on March 4 to drill a new municipal well near the center of town.

"This is a very important well," Los Osos CSD General Manager Ron Munds said. "It's a critical piece of the basin plan—to move pumping from the west side of the basin to the central and eastern portion. The movement is important because if we continue to pump from the west side, we'll be sucking in seawater."

As Munds alluded to, the new well is one of three envisioned in a court-approved Los Osos basin sustainability plan. Golden State Water, another Los Osos water purveyor, has already completed the first well in the plan. The CSD is responsible for this one, Munds said.

The proposed well will be located at 1300 Bay Oaks Drive, off Los Osos Valley Road near the Ralphs shopping center. It will be drilled 7,000 feet into the ground and tap into the basin's lower aquifer. Its goal is to try to slow seawater intrusion.

Munds said the well project will take about two years to complete from start to finish, as the CSD not only has to drill the well, but lay 3,200 feet of pipeline to connect it to the water distribution system.

"Anytime you do a project like this it just takes time," Munds said. "Where we go from here is to go out to bid for the actual drilling."

Fortunately for CSD ratepayers, the district just received a $1.5 million grant from the California Department of Water Resources for the project. That will cover most of its estimated $2.1 million cost.

"It's a huge relief for us actually," Munds said.

Since the project is located in the coastal zone, the CSD must wait two weeks to move forward pending a potential appeal of the permit to the Coastal Commission.

"Once it passes that, then it's a green light," Munds said. Δ

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