Yuba Water Agency funds project to improve Wheatland drinking water system

By on January 24, 2020

A more efficient water system that will improve the city of Wheatland’s drinking water supply is in the works with the help of a grant from Yuba Water Agency.

The $700,000 grant, approved by the agency board, provides funds for the city to replace its aging water distribution system equipment, including all of the water meters, water meter reading technology and associated software.

The current distribution system includes multiple brands of outdated and inefficient meters, and doesn’t allow the city to identify water losses or alert its customers in a timely manner when their water use is high, which can lead to significant waste and unnecessarily high water bills.

“This funding will directly benefit not just the city of Wheatland, but the approximately 3,700 people who live there, as well,” said Gary Bradford, Yuba Water Agency director and county supervisor for the district that includes Wheatland. “Giving everyone the ability to better monitor their water usage and catch a leak before it’s a crisis will spare many families from the financial burden that comes with a water leak.”

Leveraging potential funding from the state, Yuba Water Agency’s grant will save Wheatland’s customers approximately $1,273 per connection, which would otherwise be absorbed through rate increases.

The new improvements will include remote-read meters for customers and updated software that will identify leaks automatically, allowing for improved water conservation and efficiency through constant monitoring, while also alleviating the need for employees to check the meters each month, saving staff time.

Other aspects of the total project, estimated at $1.4 million, include enhancements to the city’s current water storage.

Yuba Water Agency’s grant allows the deficiencies in the water meter reading system to be addressed right away, while strengthening the competitiveness for the remainder of the project to receive further funding from DWR.

Yuba Water is able to grant these funds to Wheatland because this project will help conserve water, and ensuring a sustainable water supply is a primary agency mission.