North Valley sewer plant $1.2 million short |

North Valley sewer plant $1.2 million short

The gate to the North Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant is in sight of homes in the Saratoga subdivision, which are among those served by the plant.
Kurt Hildebrand

After more than two years of preparation, the bid for actual work on the North Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant is going before Douglas County commissioners on Thursday.

Sparks firm Resource Development Co. was the low bidder for the project at $9.08 million, according to County Engineer Nick Charles.

Awarding of the contract was on commissioners Dec. 21 agenda, but was challenged by the second bidder, KG Walters over the bonding requirements.

The low bid was higher than the engineer’s estimate of $8.6 million.

The county cobbled together $10.39 million in funding for the project, including a loan from the state revolving fund, $2.7 million from the redevelopment agency and a block grant.

Even with all that, the project is still $1.2 million short, which could come out of capital reserves.

In his report, Charles said that an engineering consulting firm and other consultants will be required to complete the project.

“Unfortunately Douglas County does not have staffing levels or staff with subject matter expertise to provide 100 percent of the construction administration and engineering services required for the project,” he said.

If the county went without the consultant, they would have to hire two full-time staff engineers to handle the work. Those staffers would also have to have expertise in structural, mechanical and electrical engineering. They would also require a materials testing lab to make sure the materials met specifications.

Those additional costs include $355,315 to Keller Associates for project and construction management. Lumos & Associates and CH2M Hill, the consultant who did the needs study, also have contracts for discussion on Thursday.

Hill is also up for a $394,000 contract to work on the hardware and software for the plant. The company would integrate the plant into the county’s supervisory control and data acquisition system to allow for remote monitoring and alarm notification.

The total work is expected to add up to $11.6 million, including $528,000 in contingency funds.

Charles estimated that materials are running 20-percent higher due to demand from two hurricanes and the California wildfires.

Expansion of the plant is expected to occur without resorting to increasing sewer rates.

The sewer plant serves about 1,700 residents of Johnson Lane and western Carson Valley, including Genoa.

According to the report prepared by firm CH2M Hill, the plant can continue to meet its permitted discharge requirements until the annual average flow exceeds 300,000 gallons a day.

Built in 1988 to serve the industrial areas around Minden-Tahoe Airport, the plant was originally built to treat 125,000 gallons a day.

The plant now treats an average of 254,000 gallons of sewage per day. The plant is licensed for 300,000 gallons per day, but the report indicates that the true capacity of the plant is less than that.

Sewer ponds and the plant were the subject of $1 million in work in 2007. Additional $400,000 in work on the plant was approved earlier this year as a result of damage done in earlier storms.

There are 1,048 parcels on septic that are further than 330 feet from sewer in Johnson Lane that could eventually be required to connect to sewer in the next two decades. About 930 are on one-acre lots. It is likely they will all be required to connect to sewer by 2035. That would generate 150,000 more gallons per day that would have to be treated.

Most Valley residents are served by the Minden-Gardnerville Sanitation District, which serves the two towns and the Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District. Indian Hills General Improvement District provides sewer to its residents.