Wastewater plant work delayed to May
One of the biggest public works projects under way in Carson Valley is the $9.3 million expansion of the North Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Contractor Farr Construction was supposed to be done in October 2019 and processing liquid by Nov. 3, 2019.
Public Works Director Phil Ritger told commissioners last month that the contractor is working under liquidated damages.
“They are required to pay damages for every day they miss,” he said.
Ritger said the new completion date is May 4, which would be nearly two years since the contract was awarded.
Expanding the plant has been in the works since 2015. Funded in part by a $5.55 million loan from the State Revolving Fund Assistance Program the plant also received $2.7 million from redevelopment and a block grant. The rest of the price tag will be made up out of capital reserves, according to the county.
Expansion of the plant is expected to be completed without increasing rates for the roughly 1,700 customers, who mostly live in the Johnson Lane and Genoa areas.
The expansion would allow the plant to handle the roughly 1,050 parcels currently on septic tanks.
County officials expect that most of those homeowners could be required to connect to the sewer by 2035.
U.S. Geological Survey studies have shown increased nitrates in the Johnson Lane area stemming from septic tanks. At one point in the mid-1990s, the state prevented any additional septic tanks in the community due to the groundwater contamination.
Most Carson Valley residents are served by the Minden-Gardnerville Sanitation District, which covers the two towns and the Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District. Indian Hills provides sewer to its residents.
The county also provides water service to those residents in the Johnson Lane area who are not served by a well. That water is pumped from the Town of Minden after arsenic concerns resulted in shutting down the county’s wells.
The town approved an arsenic study of its wells at the request of the county, Carson City and Indian Hills.
“This is all precautionary and there are no real threats to the system that we can see at this time,” Town Manager John Frisby said.
Concerns include the possibility that the federal government will reduce the level of arsenic allowed in the water or the possibility Minden’s levels begin to increase.
“This plan will give us some options as to what we can do on our end to help with those changes and how much it might cost for budgetary purposes,” he said.