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City considers alternatives to basins

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

Wastewater leakage from Brunswick Reservoir might be better remedied by letting the excess reach the Carson River than by constructing basins to clean it.

The Wastewater Management report being brought to the Carson City Board of Supervisors has mostly eliminated the use of basins from its plan, which was presented in April to residents living near the reservoir .

The residents didn’t receive it warmly. Many of the 88 property owners near the reservoir worried their private water supply and collections systems would be harmed by the rapid-infiltration basins because the treated wastewater might leach into their supply.

Supervisors are being asked to consider the wastewater discharge plan Thursday, and provide final approval no later than their June 15 meeting.

There is just one basin-style alternative remaining in the plan – which before featured these in virtually every scenario. It would be located on state prison grounds, said Tom Hoffert, the city’s public works operations manager.

Basins would allow wastewater to percolate through the soil, and the treated effluent would then drain through hydraulic pathways to groundwater or surface water.

The Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Division of Environmental Protection informed the city that river discharges, which do not include basins, can be permitted as long as they meet requirements.

“We’ve totally changed the plan in light of the letter,” Hoffert said. “Now that it’s allowed, it’s way less expensive compared to our other alternatives.”

This plan, however, requires state permits and vigilant water-quality monitoring, and obtaining the permits could take up to two years, according to Hoffert.

The city reclaims 5,800 acre-feet of water a year, except for the 2,000 acre-feet that seep out of the reservoir each year. It reuses all of the wastewater it captures.

In 2003, the state ordered the city to line the reservoir if it were to continue being used for wastewater storage, and the city must submit its plan for stopping the leakage by June 30.

Also being planned is potential marketing of effluent to downstream users, Hoffert said.

The city is in the middle of upgrading its wastewater plant, which also will help mitigate the leakage. It is expected to be completed within the next 18 months, he added.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.

If you go

WHAT: Carson City Board of

Supervisors meeting

WHEN: 8:30 a.m. Thursday

WHERE: Sierra Room, Community

Center, 851 E. William St.

In other business:

The Board of Supervisors will be asked to approve a $2.144 million contract with Rapid Construction Inc., of Reno, for the Timberline and Combs Canyon Storm Water Drainage project. It is the last freeway-related storm drain project and should be completed by December.