Less smell. More water. Residents of the Golden Hills Community Services District may notice a change around Tom Sawyer Lake in the Golden Hills Nature Park.

The district recently finished rehabilitation of the Poor Well, performed water quality testing of the well and added some fencing this month. The improvements were discussed by board members at the June 20 regular board meeting.

"Not only did it fill the lake and eliminate the smell, but we have a dip tank the fire department can use if there's a fire threat," said Susan Wells, general manager for GHCSD.

Board members approved the start of the work for the rehabilitation of the well in October. This change helps provide an additional source of water for the district and reduce algae bloom in Tim Sawyer Lake — so an undesirable odor may be less noticeable around the area. Water supplied to the lake is at 85 gallons per minute, according to documents in the agenda.

The changes came in at $27,923, with the budget approved by the board at a total of $28,000.

"It looks great and a real professional job. It came together nicely," Director John Buckley of the GHCSD said.

Other topics

A five-year capital improvement plan was unanimously approved by board members to rehabilitate the Iriart Well, complete the rehabilitation of the Steuber Well, fix tanks, replace vehicles and structures around wells, and upgrade new technology for residents.

The Iriat Well is approximately 70 years old and supplies 33 percent of the district’s groundwater for residents. The upgrade will help provide “water stability” for residents, according to documents in the agenda. Capital and operation reserves will fund these improvements and amount to $2,089,836, said the documents.


Golden Hills Nature Park may soon see some improvements, due to a grant from the Farmworker Institute for Education and Leadership Development. The grant for $573,000 was awarded to the district in 2018.

The California Environmental Quality Act processes are close to completion and fencing projects to prevent motor vehicles from entering the park and other work may begin shortly. Updates on the project will be provided at the monthly board meetings.