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Auburn, Calif. – The century-old in-ground reservoirs off Electric Street in Auburn will be replaced with a new 5-million-gallon storage tank, under a contract awarded Thursday (June 21) by the Placer County Water Agency Board of Directors.

The board awarded the $5.48 million contract to Ranger Pipelines, Inc. of San Francisco, low bidder among three contractors who bid on the job.  Work is expected to begin this summer and be complete by next May. PCWA uses the two reservoirs at the site to store treated drinking water produced at the nearby Auburn Water Treatment Plant.  Storage capacity at the site is currently 2.5 million gallons.

To protect water quality, the reservoirs are covered with a synthetic rubber material known as Hypalon.  However, PCWA Director of Technical Services Brian Martin said the covered reservoirs are aging and expensive to maintain.  In addition, he said, storage is not adequate to meet system demand.  Martin said the project, in a neighborhood and near a business corridor, will be conducted in tight quarters.  He said the agency has prepared for operational challenges during the construction and will continue public outreach efforts in the area.

 Directors also agreed to retain Peterson Brustad, Inc. of Folsom to provide construction support services for the project.  The firm also provided design services.  The Electric Street reservoir site dates to the early 1900s.  It was acquired by PCWA in 1968 when the agency purchased the South Placer Water System from PG&E.    The new storage tank will be funded through a low-interest loan obtained through the state Safe Drinking Water Revolving Fund.  

In other business, PCWA directors:

  • heard a presentation from Yuba County Water Agency legal counsel Paul Bartkiewicz on a February Biological Opinion related to Englebright and Daguerre Point dams on the Lower Yuba River. PCWA officials are concerned that the opinion, issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service, sets a significant precedent regarding the effects of existing dams and could result in a reduction of PCWA water supplies from PG&E’s Drum-Spaulding Project on the South Yuba River.
  • received and heard a report on the water agency’s 2011 audit from the Director of Financial Services Joseph Parker and audit partner Cory Biggs of the independent auditing firm of Maze & Associates Accountancy Corporation. Biggs said his firm’s examination of the agency’s financial records resulted in a clean opinion, the highest that can be achieved.
  • authorized out-of-state travel for Director of Strategic Affairs Einar Maisch, who has been asked to testify before the House of Representatives’ Natural Resources Committee. Maisch will brief the committee on the financial and other challenges PCWA has faced in working toward a new federal power license for the Middle Fork American River Project.
  • declared a 1990 snowcat used by the PCWA Power System as surplus and agreed to donate it to the Tahoe City Public Utilities District for use by the Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue Team.

Information on PCWA board meetings may be obtained through the Clerk to the Board at (530) 823-4850 or (800) 464-0030.

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