Crews begin water main replacement in Kings Beach grid | SierraSun.com

Crews begin water main replacement in Kings Beach grid

Karen McIntyre
Sierra Sun

Until mid-September, Kings Beach residents can expect to see construction workers replacing water mains as part of the North Tahoe Public Utility District’s Water Main Replacement Project.

Cruz Excavating of Incline Village, Nev., started July 7 and has 50 days to install more than 3,000 lineal feet of 6-inch water line on Cutthroat Avenue from Wolf Street to Fox Street and also on Wolf Street.

“The Cutthroat water main has been a costly line to maintain,” North Tahoe PUD Public Works Director Lee Schegg said in a press release.

The line has had “many, many leaks,” district engineer Tom Goebel said. The project will cost some homeowners upward of $3,000 each to reconnect their water services, unless they do it themselves, but the completed project will save residents maintenance costs in the long run by preventing leaks.

“It should be maintenance-free now for a very long time, maybe 20 years,” Goebel said.

Restoring the water main is necessary to replace aging infrastructure and reduce the amount of unaccounted for water (water that escapes in leaks or is used from fire hydrants) and ongoing operation and maintenance costs. The project will also move the water main from the backyards of Kings Beach homes to a spot paralleling the street.

The project is part of the Kings Beach Grid Master Plan, and a goal of that plan is to get all residents off of their backyard water mains, said Goebel.

“We want to systematically go through Kings Beach and move all those back water mains to the street,” he said.

Water mains on the street are easier to maintain. Some residents don’t know they have water mains in their backyards, and they build on top of them which becomes a problem when the district needs to access them, Goebel said.

The district will be installing 6-inch meter boxes on the street that can service larger houses or fires, unlike the smaller 1- to 2-inch meters currently installed, he said.

Workers will reconnect existing water services, install new water services, retrofit six fire hydrants and add about 10 fire hydrants and new mid-block fire hydrants to increase fire protection. Similar work will also be completed on Speckled Avenue from Wolf Street to Chipmunk Street.

The project is being funded by recently-implemented “system replacement fees,” which have been acquired from residents since the district passed a rate increase.

Cruz Excavating offered the lowest bid of eight contractors at $568,425 ” about 65 percent of the engineer’s estimate of $862,525.

“We were pretty happy that happened,” Goebel said. “We’re in a really good bidding climate.”

Because the price was so good, 270 feet of water line on Wolf Street was added to the 2,800 feet of line to be replaced.

Residents should not be impacted for more than a few days, Goebel said, and water shutdowns should be minimal.

“A lot of the people won’t experience any outages,” he said.

Construction-related complaints should be directed to Goebel at 546-4212.