History of Public Works
In 1961, the community of Incline Village was being developed by the Crystal Bay Development Company. In order to pay for improvements, The Incline Village General Improvement District (IVGID) was created by Washoe County on June 1, 1961 authorizing the newly created District to levy taxes to pay for improvements and for five elected Trustees to set up and run the District.
The District’s first job was to construct, maintain and operate the District’s sewer and water systems and to build roads to Washoe County specifications, which were then later dedicated to the County for maintenance and were no longer a District responsibility. The original systems included the Burnt Cedar water intake pump station which supplied water to 2 one-million gallon reservoirs and water rights totaling 1,250 acre feet for domestic consumption. IVGID issued bonds to pay the cost of building water, sewer and road improvements, and the bonds were repaid through assessments levied against the properties that benefited from the improvements.
In 1963 the District’s original sewage treatment plant was completed and designed to handle sewage originating from commercial and multi-family residential areas only. The original design of Incline Village was to permit each single family residential lot to construct individual septic tank systems, therefore, capacity was not designed into the original plant for single family residential sewage. Treated effluent was stored in the winter and irrigated the golf course during the summer. In 1966 the first utility flat rates were adopted at $6.00/month for water and $2.00/month for sewer rates.
In 1969, Incline Village Inc. proposed to develop an additional 4,000 equivalent residential lots in Incline Village. The Incline Village General Improvement District commissioned an engineering study to determine the water and sewer system improvements to serve all of the present and planned development within the District. During the development by Incline Village Inc., the water and sewer system improvements were constructed according to the original plan to serve the developable lots.
A regulation that was passed in the late 1960’s necessitated the construction of the effluent export system to pump treated effluent out of the Tahoe Basin. This was necessary because of a state and federal mandate that the use of septic tanks in the Tahoe Basin be discontinued and that all treated effluent be exported out of the Basin. By 1971, the District had complied with the federal mandate and the treated effluent was exported to a ranch in Douglas County during the irrigation season and to the Carson River during the non-irrigation season.
During the period of growth in Incline Village there was also an increase in its boundaries due to annexation and expanded service contracts. The properties along Lakeshore Drive that were not part of the original District and the area between the District and the California State Line also had to find a way to serve their properties with sewage collection, treatment, and export. The residential properties along Lakeshore Drive that were not a part of the District annexed to IVGID in order to obtain sewer service. Washoe County Sewer Improvement District No. 1 (the club area and a small residential area in Crystal Bay), and Crystal Bay General Improvement District (the area between IVGID and Washoe 1) obtained sewer service through maintenance agreements with IVGID. The merger of Washoe County Sewer Improvement District No. 1 was completed in 1978. However, IVGID served the Crystal Bay General Improvement District with sewer service through an agreement until 1996. IVGID was not willing to merge with CBGID until their water system was brought up to IVGID standards, and that was finally done in 1996, at which time the merger with CBGID was completed.
After the construction of the effluent export system, IVGID’s treated effluent was being used for irrigation on a ranch in Douglas County in the summer and was being discharged into the Carson River in the winter. New regulations on the disposal of wastewater required IVGID to either upgrade its treatment facility in order to continue disposing of the treated effluent in the Carson River or to have a year-round land-based disposal system. In 1983 IVGID completed the purchase of 900 acres in Douglas County to be used for development of a disposal site for its treated effluent. Construction of the Wetlands Enhancement Facility was completed in 1984 with local and federal funding.
In 1992 the wastewater treatment plant went through a major upgrade to improve the aeration system and solids handling facilities to improve treatment efficiency and redundancy and to increase capacities.
Construction of IVGID’s Burnt Cedar Water Disinfection Plant was completed in 1995. The plant used ozone to disinfect IVGID’s drinking water and allowed IVGID to receive an exemption from the filtration requirements of the federal Surface Water Treatment Rule.
In 1995 Waste Not was formed within Public Works. Waste Not was designed to develop and manage recycling programs for residential, commercial, and internal customers. In later years Waste Not developed programs including but not limited to Household Hazardous Waste disposal, water conservation, and watershed monitoring.
The Solids Agreement with Bently Agrowdynamics was signed in 1999. The agreement diverted the bio-solids from the landfill to composting at the Bently facility increasing our solid waste diversion rate and providing a low cost and long term disposal option.
In March 2003 the $3.2 million Public Works facility was completed at the existing site that created “one-stop” shopping for all of IVGID Public Works. The new building now combines utility billing, compliance, utility supervision, engineering, fleet operations, building maintenance, and management under one roof. The new building also replaced the outdated vehicle shop with a new state of the art facility. In 2003, the Solids Handling Dewatering upgrade was completed at the sewage treatment plant which improved processes and reduced costs for handling sewage solids.
The blue bag recycling program was rolled out in 2008 where all recyclable materials are placed in a single bag for collection and delivered to the recycling facility in Truckee.
The Federal Government passed the Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule in 2006 which requires enhanced disinfection to provide additional protection from disease-causing microorganisms and contaminants that can form during drinking water treatment. This is for water systems that use surface water as their raw water supply. The rule requires that IVGID add a second disinfection process by 2013. The CIP has included the installation of a UV disinfection system to be added to the water treatment plant and the replacement of the ozone disinfection equipment which was installed in 1995. This project finished construction in 2012 and is in operation.
The most important project in the Capital Improvement Budget over the next five years is Phase II of the Effluent Export Project. The Effluent Export Project started in 2003 with a planned completion date in 2011 to replace six miles of pipeline, make upgrades to the Spooner Pumping Station, and convert two State Parks wastewater plants into raw wastewater pumping stations with installation of a new forcemain to deliver that wastewater to the District. Through a total of six miles of pipeline have been installed and the work for State Parks has been completed. A total of $18 million have been spent and the total of all the project phases is expected to cost $21 million. The remaining $3 million in project costs was spent upgrading the Spooner Pumping Station which was completed in 2013.
Phase II will replace the remaining six miles of aging pipeline within the Lake Tahoe basin. The six miles of pipeline is comprised of approximately 17,300 lineal feet of welded, cement mortar lined, high pressure pipe and 13,700 lineal feet of bell and spigot, cement mortar lined, low pressure steel pipe. This pipeline experienced significant leaks in 2009, 2014 and 2015. Subsequent investigations confirmed progressive corrosion of this pipeline that necessitates replacement. Work has been completed on the areas which were identified to be the most likely failure points. Design continues on the other areas of the pipeline with construction estimated to take multiple phases over several years to complete.