Q14: What is the condition of the sanitary system, and are upgrades and replacements really needed?
A. For many years the District has been making continual, substantial investments to improve its aging facilities. But much of the equipment and facilities have reached the end of their useful life, and continued investment is needed to modernize and ensure continual, efficient operation.
The District formulated a minimum, responsible four-year budget, which takes everything into consideration, provides for no more than is absolutely necessary, and calls for the required increases in rates for four years beginning on July 1, 2023.
Q15: How did the District decide what projects to include in the upgrade program?
A. To accomplish the upgrade efficiently and at the lowest cost, the District carried out an extensive system-wide analysis that considered every aspect of its operation: facilities, staffing, engineering, finance and regulatory requirements. From this analysis, the District developed a detailed plan over a five-year period that prioritizes the most important projects that must be completed and identifies the minimum charges needed to fund them.
Q16: How will the upgrade program be financed?
A. The program is largely being funded on a pay-as-you-go approach with revenue from rates. A few major items will be funded through bonds or loans. The more costly items, and items that last for decades, are often financed to decrease the fiscal impact on current customers and spread those costs over time onto future customers, since they will benefit also.
Q17: In general, what will the upgrades involve?
A. The improvements involve the sewer pipeline collection system, pump stations and force mains, treatment plant, cooperative water recycling, reclamation area, and general upgrades and repairs.
The District recently completed its Secondary Treatment Plant Upgrade and Recycled Water Expansion Project, increasing treatment and water recycling capacity to meet permit requirements. It was the largest project at the District since the original treatment plant was built in the 1950s. The next phase of upgrades identified at the treatment plant require additional infrastructure investment. Primary clarification and UV disinfection projects at the plant will allow the District to meet increasingly stringent water quality regulations. Flow Equalization and Treatment Plant Headworks projects will help the District weather large storm events during periods of heavy rain and prolonged ground saturation by allowing the extra wastewater that enters the sewer collection system, a process known as Infiltration & Inflow (I&I), to be held for treatment until the wastewater flow to the treatment plant subsides. Replacement of the digester and improving the solids process will round out the major improvements currently identified.