LOP plant to receive $7 million in repairs | TheUnion.com

LOP plant to receive $7 million in repairs

Nevada Irrigation District’s Lake of the Pines water treatment plant will get $7 million worth of upgrades, NID directors decided Wednesday.

The upgrades should prevent sand from getting into the treated water system – a longtime problem for homeowners, some of whom have discovered sand in their toilets.

The project should accommodate the next 20 years of growth, NID officials say. The plant’s daily capacity will increase from 3 million gallons to 5 million gallons, and the existing 45,000- gallon redwood tank will be replaced with a 640,000-gallon steel tank.

And someone might get a pile of salvaged redwood to build with.

Once, when NID scrapped a smaller redwood tank, a man hired a helicopter to carry away the tank’s top.

“Somebody bought the top from us and took it away and made a gazebo out of it,” said NID General Manager Jim Chatigny.

Sand has been a problem since the 1960s, when Lake of the Pines’ developer built the plant, which NID later took over, said supervising engineer Vern Smith.

“This will solve the sand problem,” Smith said. “These filters should not pass any sand.

“We’re using sand filters, (but) it’s a different type of filter,” he said. “The tank will now be downstream of the filters instead upstream of the filters. That should help to settle the sand out.”

Chatigny said the increase in size and capacity is to meet growth allowed under Nevada County’s master plan and zoning.

“We’re just looking at what the county has projected on their growth charts,” he said. “We plan for the future. You just get prepared for it.”

It’s too early to say what might happen to the old redwood tank, Chatigny said. NID directors voted Wednesday to put the project out to bid, and a contractor won’t be selected until bids are opened on June 12.

Construction is expected to take about a year.

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