Vandenberg water under annual maintenance

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- From now until Nov.20, the base will undergo its annual water supply maintenance transition from state water to the base San Antonio Aquifer wells. 

"This is an annual preventative maintenance just to make sure that nothing catastrophic happens," said Capt. Laura Abt, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron. 

During the 2-week switch-over to base well water, users may notice a difference in the taste and odor of the water. Although the well water may be aesthetically different from the state water, it is not harmful and is completely safe to drink. 

"Ground water is higher in hardness and may contain a slight sulfur scent due to a higher acidity which stripped the sulfur off of rocks," said Master Sgt. Mike Kalata, 30th CES water quality manager. 

"The easiest trick to decreasing the sulfur smell is to let the water run for about thirty seconds or, if ingesting, chill it," he said. 

In order to provide the best quality treated drinking water during this two week maintenance period, base water usage must be minimized as much as possible. The 30th Civil Engineer Squadron requests a voluntary basewide reduction in water usage. 

"We don't have the 8 million gallons of water from the state, we can only produce 5 million gallons," Sergeant Kalata said. "And with a few wells under construction we want to limit water usage to ensure customer satisfaction." 

Unless the weather is abnormally warm, overall irrigation demands during November are expected to be at a minimum. The 30th CES does not expect voluntary compliance with this request to be a problem. 

"If the base works together, 30th CES will be able to provide the best quality water to Vandenberg," Captain Abt said.