SILVER SPRINGS - Ten years from its conception, the bidding process for construction of a sewer system in Silver Springs has now been started.
Project coordinator Ray Johnson said, "We'll be seeing dirt fly in the coming winter months."
When completed, the much debated project will replace nearly 1,000 septic tanks in use and will cover more than 2-1/2 miles of the most populated area of the valley. It is estimated a total of 1,500 units will eventually be served, with all sharing in the construction costs.
The Silver Springs project has been separated into four bid schedules, including the treatment plant, with a completion time of 360 days from start of construction. The Sanitary Sewer Collection System is separated into three bid areas with varying schedules to be completed in 180-240 calendar days from the start of construction.
According to the consulting engineers, the estimated cost of construction for the plant and lines will be $9.7 million. Funding will be through a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Grant, an Economic Development Administration Grant and a Rural Development Loan.
Property owners within the district were assessed for the rural development loan in July's tax bill.
First conceived in 1989 and following attempts by other agencies, the Lyon County Commissioners were requested to take the lead in April 1998. The commissioners became the first board of trustees for the special general improvement district under state law and will remain in that position until the system is completed and local elections are held.
The Nevada Department of Environmental Protection guidelines call for a maximum density of 80-85 septic tanks per square mile for the Silver Springs basin. There are currently about 500 septic tanks in use in a square mile area. The community water system has had problems in the past with nitrate contamination and state officials have encouraged the building of the treatment facility to prevent further problems.