Summary: Floods of early 1995 caused high levels of turbidity in the Santa Ana River, which is the primary drinking water source for the City. The City switched to its existing alternative drinking water source, groundwater wells. The increased operation costs were deemed ineligible. In the second appeal, the City claimed that action taken was a cost-effective effort to avoid damages to its treatment system and requested funding for $25,137. The State supports the appeal concurring that there was an immediate threat to life and property resulting from a major disaster.
Are costs for using the groundwater supply eligible?
Was there a potential for damages to the water treatment plant?
Was there an immediate threat to public health?
No. The NPDWR require that the water supply have sufficient quantity and quality. Therefore, City routinely uses the groundwater to supplement its supply from the Santa Ana River.
No. The information provided supports only that there was the potential for increasing maintenance costs, especially on filters and pumps.
No. The effect on water quality may have been increased turbidity. However, turbidity is not a health-based or primary drinking water criteria and, therefore, was not a threat to public health.
Rationale:FEMA does not fund additional operating costs to utilities resulting from a disaster. By using the groundwater supply, the City may have been reducing maintenance costs, but was not eliminating an immediate threat or averting damages to the treatment facility