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Posted on: May 19, 2020

Yuba Water Agency approves $3.5 million for major water infrastructure in southeastern Yuba County

A photo of flooded rice fields with levees running across

Major infrastructure upgrades that will significantly improve economic development opportunities in Yuba County and help ensure groundwater quality are in the works with the help of Yuba Water Agency. 

Yuba Water today approved a $1.75 million grant paired with a $1.75 million low-interest loan for the Olivehurst Public Utility District to design new wastewater and potable water conveyance systems. The funding will provide the design for the district to extend its service into southeastern Yuba County, bringing wastewater and water distribution infrastructure to an area where none existed, and with it, potential for economic growth.

“This area, which includes the sports, entertainment and industrial zones, lacks the necessary sewer and water supply systems that are essential for commercial and industrial development,” said Yuba Water Agency Director Gary Bradford, whose district includes that portion of the county where upgrades will take place. “These funds will help move the project forward in the interest of economic development, while also protecting groundwater quality and greatly improving water supply.”

The project area, which falls within OPUD’s service boundaries, does not currently have a potable water distribution system and is generally served by private septic systems.

OPUD plans to integrate its existing Olivehurst wastewater treatment plant into the system. As a regional facility, the OPUD wastewater treatment plant has the ability to provide wastewater services for the City of Wheatland, Beale Air Force Base and all of the developed and undeveloped parcels in the area.

Yuba Water is also working with the City of Wheatland, which is considering a related project that would extend and increase the capacity of the sewer line extension to serve Wheatland.

“I can’t think of any project we could do that will be more impactful than this will be, as we try to dig our way out of this recession caused by the coronavirus,” said Yuba Water Agency Vice-Chairman Brent Hastey. “Having shovel-ready projects that will bring jobs to the area is going to be really important as economic recovery efforts get underway, and I am thrilled that we can be part of this.”

Once the design phase is complete, the project will be eligible to compete for any state and federal stimulus funds that may be offered in the future to boost the economy. OPUD estimates that the design can be done within about five months.

Yuba Water’s recently adopted groundwater sustainability plan provides broader authority under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act for the agency to protect groundwater quality. Because of the potential negative impacts that wastewater can have on the area’s groundwater and the potential to use this infrastructure to recharge the groundwater aquifer, the agency is able to make these funds available.

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