TUD Tabbed For $4.2-Million Grant For Wastewater Treatment Plant
Sonora, CA — The Sonora Regional Wastewater Treatment plant, visible from Highway 108, is nearly 50 years old, with outdated technology.
Working with the USDA, TUD has been approved to receive a $4.2 million grant, and $15-million loan, to make extensive improvements. The loan would be spread over 40 years at an interest rate of 1.1-percent.
Speaking about the state of the current plant, which serves the greater Tuolumne County area, TUD General Manager Ed Pattison says, “It has been struggling to meet permit regulatory conditions. Wastewater is highly regulated in the State of California, and due to it having difficulty and challenges in meeting its discharge permit requirements, TUD staff has been working for several years looking at various technology options that would be best suited for replacing the regional wastewater treatment plant.”
Adding, “We did an alternatives analysis, and then an optimization analysis, all trying to find the right sweet spot for technology and meeting regulatory conditions. Because when you talk about treatment plants, it is very expensive. We were looking for the appropriate treatment design and level, while trying to keep rates as low as possible, and we landed on extended aeration, which is used widely in the state of California, and seems to be the right fit.”
In addition to meeting regulatory requirements, the upgrade would allow for things like additional recycled water reuse for irrigation at golf courses and other recreational spots.
TUD staff will be recommending that the board of directors approve the grant and loan package at an upcoming meeting.