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Drought Means Pumps Possible In Sacramento River

The department's Dave Brent says the river is four-feet-high now. If it drops below a foot-and-a-half, the pump station probably won't be able to operate, which is when the City would likely turn on the submersible pumps. 

"These are some elevations we haven't seen or don't typically see. So, we don't know what the corresponding flow is, yet and we're working with some modelers and trying to get some better information."

The department plans to go before the Sacramento City Council and ask for $3 million for rental and installation of pumps.

"It's a much bigger challenge just because of the design of the intake on the Sac River. So, April 8th, we're going to City Council. I'm asking probably between two-and-three million dollars worth of upgrades for that intake so we'll be able to get water out at lower elevations." 

The American River is running at 12 feet, which is right at the level the City says is necessary for the main pump to operate. The Department of Utilities is spending $22,000 per month to rent four pumps to be used on the American River if water levels drop below the intake there.

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