|Dec 01, 2012 --
Located in the far north of California about 20 minutes south of the Oregon border, lies the City of Yreka. This rural community experiences hot summers with temperatures over 100 degrees and cold winters with a few feet of snow. The city’s drinking water for their 7,700 residents is piped more than 25 miles to town, from a reliable source near the Klamath River. Although the source of water is reliable, the pipeline bringing it to town is 40 years old and the city didn’t have a backup supply if anything happened to the aging pipes. If repairs were needed to the system they didn’t have the capacity to meet more than one day of peak summer demand. Added to these problems, state and federal regulations protecting against Cryptosporidium were tightened, so the city needed to make improvements to comply with water quality standards.
USDA Rural Development’s Water and Environmental Programs assisted the City of Yreka with a $6,810,000 loan and $3,249,000 grant made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). This major project involved several components at five different sites and included upgrading their water treatment facility and constructing a new 2.5 million gallon water clearwell storage tank.
The project kicked off in October 2010 and is expected to be completed in January 2013. 77 jobs were created as a result of this massive construction project. The 2.5 million gallon clearwell storage tank has added about 45 percent more storage capacity for the City. As well, with the clearwell water levels in the existing tanks will remain close to full, so more water will be available for fire protection or other emergencies. And it will help maintain water pressure to the City when the system is offline for maintenance or future upgrades. The new facility was designed with room for an additional pump to allow for future growth of the community.
Recently, the American Public Works Association awarded the City of Yreka "Project of the Year" at both their local branch and chapter levels for this outstanding project. As well, the project inspector, Eric Marshall, won an international photo competition with his picture showing the disinfection of the inside of the clearwell tank. His photo is shown above.
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