Since You Asked: Is water in Yuba City play fountain safe?
Q: Is the water that shoots out of the play fountain at Regency Park in north Yuba City safe for kids to drink?
A: Experts say the water itself is safe to drink, but it's still not recommended.
"The water comes from the same source as the drinking water. It is the same as the city's tap water, but I personally wouldn't drink it," said Diana Langley, deputy director of the Yuba City Public Works Department. "Only because you just never know what materials others may have left on the apparatus itself."
The purple dragon fountain at the park at the north end of Stabler Lane is a favorite summer amusement for Yuba City kids.
Mark Warren, a Sutter County environmental health specialist, also said that kids probably shouldn't drink the water "just on general principal."
Warren was careful to note his agency doesn't have authority over the park water. He was asked to comment for this column on the environmental and health aspects of the fountain's water.
"All the city's water is heavily regulated and tested, but the water that comes out of that fountain is intended for kids to play in, not necessar ly for people to drink," Warren said. "So, it just doesn't seem like a very good idea."
Q: The Express Mart gas station on Highway 99 that was featured in Since You Asked on March 23 is still not open. All the outside work appears to be done, but there's been no activity out there for weeks. Do the owners plan to open any time soon?
A: Store owner Chris Gill acknowledged the project on Highway 99 south of Nicolaus has fallen behind, but said he still hopes to open in June or July at the latest.
"It's been a little slower than we'd hoped, but, really, should be any time," Gill said in an interview late last week. "We're still waiting for some equipment purchases and our certification of occupancy, but it should probably only take about another month or two."
Gill said in March he hoped to be open by the end of April, but he said the project was slowed by unexpected delays.
Upgrades for the old Chevron station included newly renovated underground gasoline storage tanks, but Sutter County officials said, as far as they are concerned, the project is good to go.
The tanks were examined April 6 and the food facilities on April 26. A few "minor items" needed to be worked out, but the county has given the green light and they are just waiting for Gill to finish the paperwork.
"There's no issues for us as far as permits," explained Sukh Sahota, Sutter County's supervising environmental health specialist. "We're just waiting on them."
Since You Asked is published on Mondays. Send questions to reporter Rob Parsons at the Appeal-Democrat, 1530 Ellis Lake Drive, Marysville, CA 95901, email him at rparsons@ appealdemocrat.com or call 749-4785.