County ready to approve sewer projects |

County ready to approve sewer projects

by Christy Chalmers

Douglas County is ready to approve more than $1.3 million worth of construction on a sewer plant to serve the central Carson Valley area.

The county commission may approve a $1,154,700 contract Thursday with Resource Development Co. of Sparks to expand the North Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant, which currently serves about 650 residents in the Johnson Lane area. A second contract, for $164,120, is to go to HDR Engineering, Inc. for construction management.

The work will nearly triple the plant’s capacity, and is the first of several planned upgrades that will eventually enable the plant to serve 8,000 homes.

“We’ve designed a plant that is flexible enough to be able to expand when the demand is there,” said Carl Ruschmeyer, the county’s utility manager. “It’s totally growth-dependent.”

Ruschmeyer said the plant, built in the early 1980s, was expanded once in the mid-1990s and now processes 300,000 gallons of wastewater a day. The expansion will provide enough capacity to serve 1,800 homes, he said.

Some of the new space will be used by customers in the Foothill Road and Genoa corridor. A sewer line that will serve those areas is being designed.

The plant expansion is being paid for with existing sewer fund money, which means customers won’t see a rate increase for the expansion. The total project, including engineering, design, construction and other costs, has been budgeted at $1.45 million.

The expansion is to be done by December. Ruschmeyer said the plant is designed to accommodate three or four more upgrades over the coming 20 to 30 years.

“It’s really a long-term type of planning effort that we’re doing to address the future growth in the north county,” he said. “It really sets it up for future expansions.”