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Posted on: June 13, 2022

City of Wheatland kicks off $1.36 million comprehensive drinking water project

A man in a yellow vest working on a gauge in the ground.

Today, Yuba Water Agency joined the City of Wheatland for the installation of a new water meter during the groundbreaking ceremony for a comprehensive drinking water project. 

To ensure the community has enough water to make it through increasingly intense periods of drought, Wheatland is making significant infrastructure improvements to enhance local water management. One element of the drinking water project is new water meters, which will help the city deepen its understanding of how much water is available and how much is being used.

“The advanced metering equipment we’re installing will directly reduce our labor costs,” said James Goodwin, city manager for the City of Wheatland. “No longer will we have staff going out to manually read meters, and we also won’t have to wait for a month until the next reading to identify a potential leak, saving a lot of water.”

The new water meters will not only improve Wheatland’s ability to monitor water use, but they will also quickly identify leaks that require repair, shortening response time to days compared to the months it takes with the current, outdated system.  

“With California’s ongoing drought, understanding how much water we have, how much we’re using and having the power to locate and fix leaks quickly to save water is so important,” said Yuba Water Board Director Brent Hastey. “I can’t tell you how exciting it is to see this project move from planning to groundbreaking, especially in light of the fact that this was during COVID and major supply chain challenges. It’s great that we’re able to make investments like this that can make such a big difference for our communities.”

The $1.36 million project includes the installation of approximately 1,200 water meters and will serve approximately 3,800 people. Half of the funding for this project is from the California Department of Water Resources’ Proposition 1 Integrated Regional Water Management Program and the other half from Yuba Water. In 2020, Yuba Water approved a $700,000 grant to help Wheatland secure the additional state funding. 

“This is a great day for Wheatland,” said Rick West, the city’s mayor. “We get things done by working together and we are grateful for the support of our partners.”

Additional project improvements include upgrading Wheatland’s central groundwater well control system, adding booster pumps to maintain adequate water pressure throughout the system and rehabilitation of a deteriorating 100-year-old elevated water storage tower that will be removed from service, but maintained as a historic landmark.