Discovery Bay General Manager Dina Breitstein said it was a step in the right direction for the town’s infrastructure.
“The sale has been finalized; we closed the bond on May 17,” she said. “We are borrowing $13 million for the denitrification project and $5 million for the new well project.”
Work began last summer on the state-mandated denitrification project to improve the town’s wastewater treatment systems. Originally priced at $16 million, cost for the project’s design, construction and inspection is now up to $19.9 million. Project Manager Mike Yeraka said the increase is typical of the times.
“With COVID and all the supply chain issues, the budget went up,” Yeraka said.
Work began on the denitrification project last summer and should take two years to complete, officials said. The project must be finished before the town’s Federal National Pollutant Discharge Eliminating System permit changes on Jan. 1, 2024. The permit covers wastewater discharge into Old River, and the new permit will require the town to reduce the amount of nitrogen entering the water. Hence the title “denitrification.”
Breitstein noted the process creates clean water, and the wastewater being discharged into the Delta will be cleaner than what is there now.
In an interview, Water and Wastewater Manager Aaron Goldsworthy said the project’s difficulty lies in the fact a new procedure – the denitrification process – will be inserted into the middle of the town’s existing wastewater treatment system.
“You are basically tapping into a pipe that already has a treatment process taking place,” he said. “So we are squeezing a process in between two processes, so it’s not something we can put at the beginning or end of the process. We are putting it in the middle.”
Also funded by the bond is Well 8, a new well being built near Point of Timber Road, on the site of the future Pantages housing project.
“The town has been looking for a parcel somewhere to buy for Well 8 for the past couple of years, and it just so happened that the Pantages subdivision had a parcel that was ideal for us to utilize,” Yeraka said. “We are going to be using one of the parcels in the subdivision for Well 8.”
Though it will be in the Pantages neighborhood, the well will serve to back up the supply to the town’s existing wells.
“We hope to have the new well online sometime in 2024,” Yeraka said. “We haven’t started design yet … we are in negotiations with the developer for the lot right now.”
Once the lot is secured, the town will contract with design firm Luhdorff & Scalmanini to design the well, then request bids from contractors. Yeraka noted the project should take 16 months to complete once it has started.
For more information, call the town at 925-634-1131 or visit www.todb.ca.gov.
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