Nevada City uses Prop. 84 funds to upgrade water lines |

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Nevada City uses Prop. 84 funds to upgrade water lines

Nevada City is upgrading its water delivery system with the help of funding from Proposition 84.

In the coming year, the city plans to fix bottlenecks in the water lines to improve water pressure and flow for affected residents, including a section on Park Avenue near Pioneer Park.

"It's an old 4-inch line that's been around forever," said city engineer Bill Falcone. "It's between two lines that are already 6 inches, so it's kind of a bottleneck."

There's a similar upgrade planned on Prospect Street near the Red Castle and Chevron.

Between the two projects, the city has $236,000 budgeted.

After those bottlenecks are addressed, the city plans to run a water line across the Pine Street Bridge, connecting the sections of line that cross Highway 20/49 at Sacramento and Broad streets.

"Lines go across Broad, and they go across Sacramento, but they don't connect anywhere," Falcone said. "The more interflows you get, the more redundancy you have, the better the pressure and volumes."

The city is also planning a major upgrade to its water storage tanks in 2015, equipping the facility with modern automation technology.

"We're going to put in a computerized integrated system so everything talks to each other," Falcone said. "You can log into a computer at home and see what's happening. But that will be next year."

Nevada City's water delivery system is still functioning without these upgrades, but deferring the work could lead to costly problems in the future.

"You wind up with more breaks, more repair, and ultimately it drains the resources anyway," Falcone said. "It drains your resources in a different way and your system becomes less and less reliable."

Prop. 84 was passed in 2006, authorizing nearly $5.4 million in bond funding for water conservation and projects to improve the quality and safety of water supplies statewide.

The grants to make the local portion of that money available has been handled through CABY, a collaborative planning effort that serves as a vehicle to bring funding into the region.

CABY — short for Cosumnes, American, Bear, Yuba — consists of representatives from water agencies in El Dorado, Placer and Nevada counties, as well as South Yuba River Citizens League and half a dozen other conservation groups. The organization's priorities are to maintain and restore water quality, ensure adequate water supply through conservation, and restore or preserve environmental quality.

CABY has funded numerous projects in Grass Valley and Nevada City, including some that focused on water quality — but Falcone says this is about conservation.

"If I've got to shut down a main, I waste a lot of water," he said. "That's what they're trying to accomplish here."

To contact Staff Writer Dave Brooksher, email or call 530-477-4230.