Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD) Board members, staff and excited homeowners gathered this morning for a Groundbreaking event on Sawmill Flat Road in Columbia to view the Sawmill Flat Road Water Main Extension project.
Kathie Turgeon, President of the Sawmill Flat Water Users Association, was at the groundbreaking and she has played an instrumental part in approaching TUD to bring treated water to this area for the past six years. “We are so thankful that this project has finally taken off and I can’t wait to be able to use water straight from my tap.” Several years ago the Sawmill Flat Water Users Association approached TUD to provide treated water service to their homes. Due to the long distance between the nearest TUD treated water main and the homes in the Sawmill Flat Association, TUD was, prior to this water main extension, only able to deliver untreated water. The water main extension also includes installing fire hydrants along Sawmill Flat Road for improved fire protection.
“This is truly a grassroots project,” stated Pete Kampa, TUD General Manager. “Ms. Turgeon’s phone calls to the state agencies and legislators helped bring the importance of this project to the forefront and emphasized the daily impact on their lives of not having a clean, reliable water source,” continued Kampa. The District was awarded grant funding by the California State Department of Public Health’s Proposition 50, in February 2012. The purpose of the project is to provide clean, reliable drinking water to customers that currently use TUD ditch water in their homes.
Carl Carlucci, Regional Engineer for the California Department of Public Health, stated
“We commend TUD for undertaking this project that will provide treated water to property owners in the Sawmill Flat Water Association that currently receive raw ditch water from TUD’s Ditch System.”
“When we initially looked at the overall cost for this project, we could tell it would be very costly for the District to extend this water main. The District is always looking at other funding sources and submitted a grant funding application with the State noting that these customers did not have a treated water source available to them. We were very pleased to have been awarded a State grant for this project,” states Erik Johnson, Associate Engineer associated with this project.
“The District is thrilled to be able to have secured grant funding for this worthwhile project. These customers have had to use bottled water for drinking and now they will be able to have clean potable water available to them at all times. Also, this project is a great boost to this area. We were able to partner with local contractors to get this project completed,” states Pete Kampa, General Manager. Moyle Excavation, Inc. of Jamestown was awarded the bid of $200,548 to construct the project that includes extending an 8-inch and 10-inch water main along Sawmill Flat Road from Parrotts Ferry Road to Rambler Road. Condor Earth Technologies of Jamestown has been providing compaction testing services.
The project is estimated to be completed by the end of September.