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Seeking Grants for Ophir Gardens Vulnerable Water Supply

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AUBURN -- Directors of the Placer County Water Agency on Thursday (Apr. 10) agreed to apply for two emergency funding grants, each up to $500,000, to improve water supplies for a small community of 16 cottages known as Ophir Gardens near Ophir and Wise roads.

 All of the homes in Ophir Gardens are supplied by one well which has seen a significant decline in production within the last year.  The community has been trucking in water to supplement its supply.

 Placer County Health and Human Services Department alerted PCWA to the Ophir Gardens water situation last fall.  PCWA immediately began discussions with Ophir Gardens, Placer County, and the California Department of Health Services on water system improvements and funding opportunities.  In January 2014, the California Department of Public Health announced that it had identified and offered support to 17 rural communities throughout the State with vulnerable drinking water systems due to drought conditions.  Ophir Gardens was identified as one of the 17. 

PCWA Director of Technical Services Brent Smith said that in addition to State grant funding, the US Department of Agriculture has offered funding assistance through their Emergency Community Water Assistance Grant program.  Smith said that if the grant applications are successful, it would be used to extend a treated water pipeline about 2200 feet along Ophir Road to reach Ophir Gardens.  

In other business, PCWA directors:

  • revised and extended the agency's payment program for Water Connection Charges (WCC).  The program allows the WCC for a limited number of new services to be paid over an extended period of up to two years rather than in advance.  The temporary program was begun in 2010 to assist the local building industry.  The agency anticipates ending it as economic conditions improve.
  • approved a budget amendment to transfer $30,000 to the agency's lawn replacement rebate program.  The program provides partial rebates to customers who convert lawns to more water efficient landscapes.

 The next regular meeting of the PCWA Board of Directors will be held at 2 p.m. on Apr. 17 at the PCWA Business Center, 144 Ferguson Road, in Auburn.  PCWA board meetings are open to the public.

 Information on PCWA board meetings may be obtained through the Clerk to the Board at (530) 823-4850 or (800) 464-0030.  The PCWA website,  features a Drought Update link with many water saving tips and techniques.

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