Turlock Basin

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The Turlock Basin is a sub-basin of the San Joaquin Valley groundwater basin which occupies approximately 13,700 total square miles, making it the largest groundwater basin in California. This aquifer is located within the Central Valley. Groundwater in the San Joaquin Valley occurs mostly in younger alluvial material. The Turlock Basin lies to the east of the city of Turlock. Groundwater in the Turlock Basin occurs in older alluvial deposits. Large portions of the San Joaquin Basin have experienced overdraft of water and infiltration of agricultural water pollutants, resulting in poor water quality.[1]

Water quality[edit]

The City of Turlock receives its entire water supply for domestic use from groundwater. The character of the water is generally a sodium sulfate type,[2] and some local wells have been historically closed due to DBCP pesticide poisoning.

In testing the ground water contents there was found to be 120 contaminants. In an area that relies on groundwater for essential needs it greatly diminishes the supply with contaminants present. The main contaminants we see are arsenic and nitrates. Arsenic is present naturally however the assessments done show in the 2014 study shows the contamination of Arsenic with a level of 11.8 ppb in the drinking water. From agriculture, fertilization, and increased urbanization we have also seen increased levels of nitrates. The nitrates are at 45mg/L and pose a direst health risk. Nitrates in water can cause increased infant illness and death. The main water source is being contaminated by man, and is in return harming man with toxins in the ground water consumed.[3]

Basin management organization[edit]

The Turlock Groundwater Management Plan is identified as:

  1. Maintain an adequate water level in the groundwater basin.
  2. Protect groundwater quality and implement measures, where feasible, to reduce the potential movement of existing contaminants.
  3. Monitor groundwater extraction to reduce the potential for land subsidence.
  4. Promote conjunctive use of groundwater and surface waters.
  5. Support and encourage water conservation.
  6. Develop and support alternate water supplies, and educate users on the benefits of water recycling.
  7. Continue coordination and cooperation between the TGBA members and customers.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Earth Metrics Inc., Environmental Screening Analysis for the Tylly Road Property, Turlock, California, March 1989
  2. ^ State of California Department of Water Resources, 1975
  3. ^ Madden, Dan (2011). "Water Quality: 2011 Annual Report" (PDF). city of turlock.org. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  4. ^ "Draft Groundwater Management Plan" (PDF). water.ca.gov. City of Turlock. February 26, 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2016.