As part of an ongoing effort to improve special districts aging water infrastructure throughout Madera County, the county board of supervisors approved 10 projects amounting to more than $10 million in funding through State Water Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) on Jan. 23.
Three of the 10 approved projects are in the Mountain Area - Teaford Meadows (MD-24), Ahwahnee (MD-46) and North Fork (MD-8A).
All the projects, including the three in Eastern Madera County, are currently under design which include environmental clearances, right-of-way clearances, test wells and pilot studies for each project to determine what the best treatment would be for that specific district’s water.
The county will spend up to $500,000 in grant funds for design phase for each Teaford and Ahwahnee and up to $318,750 for North Fork.
“These projects will address the declining systems and ultimately improve the water quality standards for these districts,” said Madera County Public Works Director Ahmad Alkhayyat. “The county understands the dire need that most of the special districts are facing regarding their water infrastructure. To address this ongoing need, an additional 10 new projects are in the application phase as we continue to seek grants and or low interest funding opportunities for these communities.”
According to Alkhayyat, the capital for the improvements is available either through Proposition 1 grant funding or low-interest loans to improve the special district water systems.
“The Madera County Public Works staff has worked hard to procure the funding for these 10 improvement projects,” Alkhayyat said.
“We must work together to ensure our infrastructure can be safe, trusted, and affordable for future generations,” said Madera County Board of Supervisor’s Chairman Tom Wheeler, whose district includes three of these systems.
According to Alkhayyat work on the three Mountain Area projects is expected to begin in about 18 months, with all three improvement projects being completed by August of 2020.
“Our department will continue to seek additional funding opportunities through the control board’s Proposition 1 funding,” Alkhayyat said.
Madera County Public Works Department currently oversees 36 special districts established for the operation and maintenance of water, wastewater, drainage or lighting. Public Works staff operates community water and wastewater systems that spread from the valley floor to the Sierras.
County staff provides direct water and wastewater services to approximately 15,000 consumers within Madera County and processes about 3.1 million gallons of drinking water daily to these residents.