State grant assists to replace aging drinking water system in Madison

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The rural Yolo County community of Madison may soon be able to replace its aging drinking water system thanks to a $3.8 million award from the state.

The Madison Community Services District will put the funds from the California Department of Water Resources toward replacing a 60-year-old water distribution system and ensuring a reliable supply of water during current and future droughts, the county announced in a press release Thursday.

Yolo County partnered with the the district to submit the grant, as the district has limited staff and funding.

“Yolo County is dedicated to partnering with local districts to help ensure our small rural communities have a safe and reliable source of drinking water,” said Yolo County Supervisor Angel Barajas, who represents the rural 5th district.

“We are grateful to the state of California for recognizing Yolo County and the community of Madison’s need for financial assistance for this important work.”

Madison is a disadvantaged community of approximately 560 permanent residents and 300 seasonal farmworkers. Since Yolo County directs growth to cities to protect agricultural land and encourage compact development, small rural communities such as Madison need additional resources to support critical public infrastructure, the county noted.

The aging Madison community water system lacks an appropriate structural foundation and does not meet fire standards, the county added, and the poor construction results in frequent fractures in the system, seriously disrupting the community’s water supply.

The county will continue to work with the Madison Community Services District to secure the remainder of funding needed for the $7.1 million project from other sources.

Yolo County is also currently working with other small communities to apply for funding to improve water supply and quality. Earlier this year, the Yolo County Office of Emergency Services received $559,500 from the Small Community Drought Relief Program to implement a dry well assistance program.

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