Calaveras County Water District celebrates completion of Transmission Pipeline Replacement Project

By on November 17, 2017

A 17-month construction project to replace nearly 20,000 feet of 12-inch diameter water transmission pipeline in Calaveras County has been completed. The board of directors of the Calaveras County Water District (CCWD) and more than 60 people gathered at Cedar Center in Arnold recently to watch as Division 3 Director Bertha Underhill cut the blue ribbon stretched across a freshly paved trench containing the new Reach 3A pipeline.

“I am so grateful for the community’s support,” Underhill said. “People really appreciate the importance of having a safe, reliable water system serving their community. I thought today’s ceremony was just wonderful.”

The Reach 3A Water Transmission Pipeline Replacement Project replaced pipeline originally installed in 1965 and which had reached the end of its useful life. The pipeline had developed an increasing number of major leaks, the most concerning of which sent a 100-foot geyser of water into the air near Highway 4 on the 4th of July weekend in 2013. In response the CCWD Board of Directors placed the replacement project at the top of its capital improvement list. Sections of old pipeline still in service continued to fail  — even as the replacement project work was underway — which caused community members to experience disruptions in their water service.

As part of the ribbon cutting ceremony, CCWD General Manager Dave Eggerton welcomed community members and thanked CCWD staff members, T&S Construction as well as local, state and federal agencies and local businesses for their help with the project. The new pipeline is expected to last up to 75 years.

“The community has been with us on this project from beginning to end,” Eggerton said. “That incredible support has made it possible to complete this critically important project that ensures fire protection and safe drinking water for this community for generations to come.”

In addition to comments by Underhill and Eggerton, Charles Palmer, CCWD engineer and the Reach 3A project manager, gave a detailed overview of the pipeline and presented the project’s contractor, T&S Construction with a formal certificate of substantial completion. CCWD Board President Jeff Davidson reminded attendees that while elected boards and office staff tend to take credit for accomplishing large projects like Reach 3A, it’s the men and women working in the field that actually get their hands dirty and build the projects – and they should be properly recognized for their hard work.

Congressman Tom McClintock’s Office, Senator Tom Berryhill’s Office and Assemblyman Frank Bigelow’s office presented the CCWD Board with certificates of recognition for the completion of the project. Funding for the project came from combination of a $1.378 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a $2.622 million loan from USDA and $1.3 million in local matching funds, which came from CCWD’s Capital Renovation and Replacement fund (Capital R&R). This fund was made possible by rate increases in 2013 and 2014, and the funds from those increases are dedicated solely to making capital improvements to the District’s infrastructure.

“It was great to recognize CCWD staff members, T&S Construction personnel, local, state and federal agencies, and the leadership of the CCWD Board of Directors that were integral to making this project a success,” Eggerton said of the ceremony. “This project serves as a model for how the District plans to utilize Capital R&R funds to implement capital projects across the county.”