Tuesday, 03 October 2006 01:29

Amador Water Agency & City of Ione Seek Inventive Ways To Counter Wastewater Crisis

AWAThe Amador Water Agency and the City of Ione are looking at creative ways to avoid another winter disaster such as last year’s over flows at the Ione waste water treatment plant. Recently, on the Water Agency’s consent agenda one such project appeared. The project offers to both reduce the waste water flows to the Ione treatment plant by realigning the dumping of Ione water treatment plant backwash from the wastewater system, as well as freeing up more capacity for the current developments under construction in the city.

The ProjectCurrently, the City does not have adequate wastewater connections to serve all of the developments under constructed in the booming city. The removal of backwash water that is created in the treatment of water for city customers could solve all these issues. In a cooperative plan between the city and the water agency, the backwash water would be sent to Unimin Corp, a sand processing plant located in Ione. Unimin has expressed an interest in working with the water agency on this project as the company uses a large amount of raw water in the treatment and processing of the sand which is sold for glass making purposes. The processing plant will use the water and then contain it in a series of existing onsite ponds. Because of the critical nature of creating more room for new development at the current wastewater plant, the developers of the Wildflower subdivision, Ryland Homes, is also interested in participating in the plan by constructing a portion of the facilities needed to transfer the water to the Unimin Plant, located Northwest of the housing project along Hwy 124. A pipeline must be constructed to send the water from the wastewater treatment plant and the new construction to the sandplant and portions of that pipeline have already been approved by the City as part of the Wildflower Subdivision. The Water Agency, as part of the project, would be responsible to construct a small pump station to pump the backwash water to the Unimin plant. Also, a pipeline from the new pump station, which would be located on the couth side of Hwy 104 would be needed to complete the pipeline. The project involves approximately 500 of pipe near a public roadway and the pump station located on existing water agency property near the backwash storage tank. Because of the nature of the project, water agency staff has determined that the project is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act and could move forward in a reasonable time period. The Water Agency is now in the process of further exploring environmental issues and the project will return for approval in the near future.

Unimin Ryland Homes