STOCKTON - While most of California struggles with drought, water restrictions and dry grass, there's a spot in Tuolumne County where there's so much water it's being blasted it into the air to evaporate.
It's happening at the old Harvard Gold Mine, near Jamestown, where 500 feet of water is too contaminated to use for drinking purposes. Because groundwater sources keep filling the mine, creating a lake whose level is rising, state-ordered evaporation machines are processing about 300 gallons of water a minute into a fine mist.
"It's got some nitrates in it, sulfates. It doesn't meet drinking water standards," mine owner Gary Wilson said.
Wilson said it would be cheaper to clean the water and find uses for it, as opposed to using surface machines to dispose of the water.
"We're going to treat this water at some point. When there gets to be a demand, we'll do it," he said.