IVGID effluent pipeline project takes next steps | SierraSun.com

IVGID effluent pipeline project takes next steps

Staff report

A look at a cracked pipe in IVGID's effluent export system.

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The Incline Village General Improvement District Board of Trustees on Feb. 25 unanimously approved multiple contracts for the community's multi million-dollar effluent export pipeline project.

The move will, according to the district, utilize new technology to reduce future project costs.

As a component of its sewer system, IVGID maintains a 21-mile long pipeline that carries treated effluent from the district's wastewater treatment plant in Incline Village to its wetland facility in the Carson Valley.

In other words, when Incline flushes its toilets, your liquid waste flows down the hill.

Over the years, the project has been supported by $15.5 million in federal funding from the United States Army Corps of Engineers, allowing IVGID to replace more than five miles of what officials say is an "aging and failing pipeline within the Tahoe Basin," considering it was first built in 1970.

However, nearly six miles of original pipeline still need to be addressed, said IVGID Engineering Manager Brad Johnson, and sections have seen a number of leaks over time.

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The contract amendments approved last week with the PICA Corporation and HDR, Inc., cost about $162,000 and allow IVGID to perform an in-depth audit by using "cutting-edge electromagnetic remote field testing technology" to determine how much of the remaining pipeline must be replaced, Johnson said.

"For every mile of pipeline that we don't have to replace, the district can save between $2-4 million in project costs," Johnson said in a statement. "The condition assessment will determine if portions of the remaining pipeline can be depended upon to provide reliable service into the future or if the entire remaining length should be replaced."

The audit will likely occur between May and September 2015, according to IVGID; from there, staff will present findings to the board about project needs going forward.

WATER, SEWER RATE INCREASE ON TAP

The board on Feb. 25 voted to set a public hearing for April 29 regarding proposed increases to water and sewer rates for customers for 2015.

Staff is proposing an average water rate increase of roughly 2 percent, and 4 percent for sewer — for an average total utility increase of about 3.2 percent.

To put it a different way, the average monthly residential rate for combined water and sewer in 2014, according to IVGID, was $91.17; the 3.2 percent increase, if approved, would up that to $94.13.

If approved, it would mean IVGID's combined water/utility rates, on average, would have increased $26.67, from $67.46 in 2008 to $94.13 in 2015. The average annual increase has been 3.3 percent.

Over the last 11 years, IVGID has obtained more than $18.6 million in federal funding to support utility infrastructure replacement, which equates to a savings of $2,067 per residential user, or roughly $16 per month over an 11-year period, according to IVGID.

"We want to be good stewards of the district's water and sewer infrastructure for future generations," IVGID Public Works Director Joe Pomroy said in a statement. "By funding our utility for today and tomorrow, we can continue to provide clean drinking water and protect our environment that our community has come to expect."

If approved, rates would go into effect with the May 19 billing cycle.

Residents can view recorded video of the Feb. 25 meeting at new.livestream.com/accounts/3411104.