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CCWD Kicks Off $1.9 Million Pipeline Replacement In Big Trees Village

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San Andreas, CA – A multi-million-dollar upgrade is in the “water-works” for another Highway 4 community.

Calaveras County Water District (CCWD) officials say the district is about to kick off a $1.9 million replacement project targeting a nearly 8,000-foot section of 14-inch-diameter water transmission pipeline along Meko Drive near Dorrington in Big Trees Village. K.W. Emerson, Inc. was awarded the contract with the project funding coming from CCWD’s Capital Renovation and Replacement Fund.

Crews will be busy for the next six months working on the project scope with construction hours taking place weekdays between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. The pipeline alignment starts near the intersection of Meko Drive and Highway 4 and continues to Blackfoot Circle. About 4,100 linear feet of the new, 10-inch diameter pipeline will be constructed by digging a trench parallel to the existing pipeline. The remaining 2,800 linear feet will be installed by removing and replacing the existing Techite pipeline in the same trench. The latter section will require temporary, above-ground bypass piping that will be used to maintain continuous water service to customers located within that area.

Area residents should anticipate detours and traffic controls in place over the period. Additionally, homeowners who live along the pipeline alignment will have trenches cut through their driveways, and some residents will experience water outages of up to eight hours. Officials explain that all driveway trenches will be compacted and repaved before winter.

CCWD officials say the pipeline being replaced was built in the 1970s and the Techite portion is a fragile, thin-walled fiberglass composite particularly susceptible to line breaks that are difficult to repair. Making it even more challenging, the pipeline was originally installed without backfilling the trench with sand and base rock but with rocky native soil. These issues have over the years created multiple routine failures requiring emergency repairs and the issuing of “boil water” advisories to up to area 150 customers.

The replacement new pipe is a 10-inch ductile iron product expected to last at least 75 years. The new stretch will include 80 water services, seven fire hydrants, four air valves, and one pressure reducing station.

“I’m very pleased to see this new pipeline being installed after many years of breaks and water service interruptions,” states CCWD Board President and Division 3 Director Bertha Underhill. “The Big Trees Village community will greatly benefit from the increased reliability this new pipeline will provide for many years to come. The prudent investment of ratepayer dollars into new and improved infrastructure is critically important on the Upper Highway 4 Corridor and throughout the entire county.”