Sunnyslope and City of Hollister customers may receive harder than normal tap water as a direct impact of the historic drought that California is enduring. The change in water hardness will be most noticeable in Ridgemark, Cielo Vista, and Santana Ranch where residents normally receive water from the Lessalt water treatment plant (WTP). This treatment plant has been temporarily shut down due to surface water shortages.
Because of the extreme drought conditions, the amount of surface water delivered to the Hollister area from San Luis Reservoir has been substantially reduced to only 25% of our municipal and industrial (M&I) allocation. This has required that the Lessalt WTP be shut down and that the West Hills WTP operate at significantly lower flow rate. Hopefully these plants can again run at normal capacity in February 2022 when a new surface water allocation is announced if we have a wet winter. (Pray for rain!)
To make up for the lack of surface water, Sunnyslope and the City of Hollister have had to pump more groundwater and deliver it to our customers. While the groundwater is completely safe and healthy, it has much more dissolved calcium and hardness than surface water. This hardness presents itself by leaving water spots on dishes, sinks, and shower doors. The water may also have a different taste or feel.
Thankfully, the Hollister area has an abundance of groundwater due to the diligent work of San Benito County Water District. They have been dedicated to managing the groundwater aquifer for over 70 years and serve as the Groundwater Sustainability Agency for Hollister.
However, Sunnyslope and Hollister are under a Stage 1 Drought order with a voluntary water conservation goal of reducing water use by 15% from last year.