Reclamation accepting applications for aging infrastructure funding from Infrastructure Law

Wastewater treatment facility receives funding for improvements

The Calaveras County Water District (CCWD) secured $11.2 million from the Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) in the 2024 federal budget to construct the enhancement of the Copper Cove Wastewater Treatment Plant and Reclamation Facility. The funds are part of the Section 219 Environmental Infrastructure program run by the Army Corps, which released its Fiscal Year 2024 work plan this week. CCWD’s project is the largest Section 219 Environmental Infrastructure funding allocation to a project in California and the third-largest allocation nationwide in 2024.

In working with its Congressional Delegation and the Administration, CCWD has now secured $13.2 million in Army Corps funding for the project over the last three years and is seeking another $3.1 million next year to account for construction cost increases. This vital funding is a significant milestone in safeguarding public health and the environment.

CCWD’s Copper Cove Wastewater Treatment Plant currently serves approximately 2,000 sewer connections in Copperopolis along Lake Tulloch on the Stanislaus River. The facility treats
wastewater from the community and recycles water for irrigation, but necessary upgrades are imperative to replace aging infrastructure and ensure compliance with regulatory standards,

CCWD will be responsible for 25% of the approximately $20 million project, but the federal funding helps all of the communities CCWD serves by freeing up funds for other projects. Furthermore, the broader socio-economic context, with one-third of CCWD’s service area classified as economically disadvantaged, highlights the importance of federal support for expensive projects that provide benefits beyond CCWD’s immediate project boundaries.

CCWD extends sincere gratitude to the late Senator Feinstein, Senators Padilla, and Butler for their unwavering support. Additionally, Congressman McClintock’s support and his collaboration with the Corps in including this vital funding in the FY24 work plan is greatly appreciated. State Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil, the Angels Camp City Council, and Supervisor Amanda Folendorf have also been key supporters of the effort.

Longtime CCWD Directors and Legal Affairs Committee members, Jeff Davidson and Scott Ratterman, have been central to the effort to obtain Army Corps funding for this project.

“When we first met with congressional staff and the Army Corps, we would always hear how difficult it was to get your foot in the door for funding. There were already so many projects across the nation competing for these funds, and many were already partially funded. We now have more than a foot in the door and are working with our Senators and Congressman to secure additional funding to bring this project across the finish line,” said Ratterman.

“This is the result of many years of effort to bring federal tax dollars back home for our infrastructure needs. It’s extremely difficult to compete for federal funds against larger urban
water agencies but our team is tenacious. Recent inflation and added regulatory costs make it critical to supplement CCWD’s infrastructure funds with State and Federal sources. With the trust we’ve built with funding agencies, and the support of my fellow board members, I believe we will continue to be successful,” said Davidson.

CCWD is grateful for the collective efforts of federal representatives and their dedication to advancing critical infrastructure projects that safeguard public health and the environment.

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