Water system upgrades a go | RecordCourier.com

Water system upgrades a go

The days of competing contractors bringing construction prices down are over, according to Douglas County Engineer Nick Charles.

A project to build a water treatment plant for Sierra Country Estates came in at $250,000 above the engineer's estimate.

Charles told commissioners last week that the bidding climate has changed.

"Other entities have indicated they are receiving very few bidders on projects, reducing completion," he said in his report to the county.

Work on Tesla, and wastewater treatment plants in Carson City and Sacramento are consuming regional construction resources, he said.

After two years of paying up to $300 a month for water, Sierra Country Estates residents will see a more reasonable bill starting July 1.

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Under rates approved by Douglas County commissioners, the gated Foothill community could see average bills drop to $68.31 as its 17 customers are blended into the rest of the Carson Valley Water Utility.

Including the utility into the county's water system won't affect other ratepayers, according to County Engineer Carl Ruschmeyer.

That includes a proposal to drill a new well for the system and connecting it to the Sheridan Acres system.

The county took over Sierra Country Estates' water system after an order issued by the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection due to high levels of lead and copper in the system.

The water system was also under an order from the State Engineer to stop using more water than it had rights.

The county rejected a plan to run a pipeline from Jobs Peak Ranch due to continued litigation and the effect the drought has had on wells in the southern system.

On the other end of the county, commissioners approved providing public easements to the Topaz Ranch Estates General Improvement District to allow completion of the district's $6 million water system upgrade.

The district will install eight miles of pipeline to improve fire flows and eliminate dead-end lines to loop the system.

In order to complete the system, the water line must cross existing open space owned by Douglas County.

Work should begin this year and continue into 2017.