The Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD or District) Board of Directors on Tuesday, May 5th awarded a $4.1 million contract to Steve Manning Construction, Inc. (SMC) for the construction of the Phoenix Lake Preservation and Restoration Project. The Board unanimously supported the contract approval at a Special Board meeting held May 5th via a publicly accessible electronic platform.
Residents in the vicinity of Phoenix Lake (Lake or Reservoir) may see construction activity as soon as June depending on weather conditions. During the construction phase of the project, the lake water level must be kept as low as possible to allow the lake bed to dry. This will allow the contractor to excavate and haul the dry soil out of the reservoir and place it on the adjacent Indigeny Apple Ranch Orchards to the north of the reservoir.
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.