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Posted on: November 19, 2019

Yuba Water Agency helps fund water supply reliability, flood risk reduction projects, new equipment

Lower Yuba River with lupines on the bank

Three local agencies received a financial boost today with the help of Yuba Water Agency. 

Olivehurst Public Utility District steel water main project - $1.4 million

A $1.4 million grant provides funding to help OPUD replace the steel water main it uses to deliver water to approximately 10,000 residents in the disadvantaged community of Olivehurst. 

The current steel water main has been in service well past its life expectancy and is prone to leakage and inefficiencies, which leads to the loss of approximately 78 million gallons of water each year. 

“Replacing this outdated infrastructure is essential to improving efficiency and maintaining a reliable water supply for the residents in Olivehurst,” said Yuba Water Agency Director Doug Lofton, whose district includes Olivehurst. 

OPUD will replace approximately 14,000 feet of the aging steel water main with 8-inch-diameter PVC pipe. The district will also replace 25 fire hydrants, 69 8-inch valves and 40 tie-in locations to the existing water main lines. 

This is one of several projects that are being presented to the Department of Water Resources to compete for $24 million in funding for various water projects that benefit disadvantaged communities. That includes water supply and flood risk reduction projects for Yuba County, Reclamation District 784, Linda County Water District, and the cities of Wheatland and Marysville, and the local contribution from Yuba Water makes the entire group of projects more competitive for the larger grant. 

Yuba Water is able to grant these funds to OPUD because this project will help conserve water, and ensuring a sustainable water supply is a primary agency mission.

Three Rivers Levee Improvement Authority Hallwood flood risk project - $500,000

Yuba Water Agency also approved a grant for the Three Rivers Levee Improvement Authority to help reduce the flood risk for the community of Hallwood. 

The $500,000 in funding will be used by TRLIA to continue its efforts to strengthen the Yuba River North Training Wall.

“We’re happy to expand TRLIA’s reach to take the lead on this important flood risk reduction project,” said TRLIA Executive Director Paul Brunner. “Yuba Water Agency funding will be used for preliminary engineering, design and environmental work, which is an important first step in project implementation.” 

Originally, the purpose of the Yuba River North Training Wall was to confine, or train, the boundaries of the Yuba River to manage mining debris. However, during the high-water events in 2017 and 2018, Hallwood experienced localized shallow flooding due to erosion of the training wall. A temporary fix was constructed last year, and this funding will begin the process  to find a long-term solution. 

Yuba Water Agency’s grant to Three Rivers is part of the agency’s long-standing mission to reduce flood risk for Yuba County. In prior years, Yuba Water has assisted TRLIA with policy, technical and financial aid, including carrying the local cost-share for the construction of the Feather River Setback Levee. Yuba Water is repaying $5.5 million per year for that project. 

Reducing flood risk is one of the primary reasons Yuba Water was formed.

Marysville Police Department emergency response vehicle and trailer - $10,000

This grant will fund an all-terrain vehicle and an all-terrain vehicle rescue trailer for the Marysville Police Department as part of Yuba Water Agency’s Bill Shaw Rescue Equipment and Training Grant program. 

The new ATV will be used to quickly and effectively respond to people trapped in the river bottoms due to rising water levels, and the trailer will allow officers to stabilize people experiencing medical issues during those incidents.

The Bill Shaw Rescue Equipment and Training Grant Program, which was created in 2018, is designed for first-responder agencies in Yuba County and will cover the one-time costs of up to $10,000 per applicant annually, associated with the purchase of rescue equipment and specialized personnel training. Since its inception, the program has supported 14 agencies with $178,500 in grants. 

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