After a month of construction, the Tuolumne Utilities District’s Phoenix Lake Preservation and Restoration Project is making progress on removing sediment on the Phoenix Lake basin. The District hired Steve Manning Construction of Redding as the contractor for the project that started July 16, 2020. Currently, there are 74 dewatering wells and dozens of pumps that are removing surface and ground water out of the lake bed. This week two excavators with 6 cubic yard (CY) bucket capacity have mobilized to the site. The Contractor plans to begin moving 5,000 to 10,000 cubic yards of sediment per day beginning this week.
Phoenix Lake is an 88-acre water storage reservoir located approximately 3 miles east of the City of Sonora. Phoenix Lake water rights and facilities, as well as portions of the lake, are owned by the TUD. The TUD uses the lake as a primary drinking water source for the communities of Sonora, Jamestown, Scenic View and Mono Village. While the allowable storage capacity of the lake is approximately 850 acre-feet (ac‐ft), the current capacity is only 600 ac‐ft. The reduction in storage capacity accompanies a degradation in water quality characterized by warm water temperatures, low dissolved oxygen, zones of stagnation, proliferation of invasive aquatic vegetation and the emergence of seasonal taste and odor compounds, all complicating the water treatment processes.
Once completed, this project will improve the water quality and restore storage capacity in Phoenix Lake and the Phoenix Lake watershed as well as enhance the aesthetics of the lake and surrounding area. The District is planning to complete construction of this project by October 2021, weather permitting. For more information about this project, visit https://tudwater.com/projects/phoenix-lake/.