At its August 9 meeting, the Calaveras County Water District Board of Directors unanimously approved a contract for design and engineering services to replace and upgrade sewer infrastructure in communities around Lake Tulloch in Copperopolis.

“It’s great to see projects moving forward and being able to solve problems that could in time threaten the public’s water supply at Lake Tulloch as well as the safety of District employees responsible for maintaining obsolete facilities,” said Charles Palmer, District Engineer. “By grouping common projects together, as is the case here, the District is achieving significant cost savings and efficiencies.”

After a competitive proposal process, Sacramento-area engineering firm Lee & Ro, Inc. was awarded the $399,500 contract, and the District is exploring options to hire local firms to complete portions of the project, such as the environmental work.  The project will be funded using pre-authorized moneys from the District’s adopted budget and five-year Capital Improvement Program.  The source of these funds is the Renovation and Replacement (R&R) program, which is critical to the District’s ability to replace old and problematic infrastructure in service areas throughout the County.

The project being designed (with construction to commence in late 2018) will eliminate a submerged sewer line that currently runs through a cove in Lake Tulloch in the Poker Flat neighborhood, and poses a risk of contaminating the public water supply in the event of a line break or failure. It will also reduce sewage flows from pumps located close to the water and redirect those flows into a new pipeline that runs along O’Byrnes Ferry Road and Connor Estates Drive farther from the lake. Additionally, at four locations including Lakeshore Drive, Kiva Drive, Jimmy Way and Bret Harte Drive, the project will replace outdated electrical systems and sewage pumping facilities that pose safety risks to the District’s staff.

Lee & Ro is scheduled to complete the project design by August of next year, and the District plans to award a bid for the construction project in the fall of 2018.  Construction will begin as soon as possible thereafter and should be completed by early 2020.

The District is committed to a robust public outreach program throughout the design and construction portions of this very important project. Meetings will be held to ensure community members understand the project’s impacts, and regular updates will be posted online at

“It’s hard to find another project that has more compelling public health and safety reasons to complete,” said Dave Eggerton, CCWD general manager. “The current situation is particularly egregious with the sewer line under the lake. We can’t get this done fast enough. If we didn’t have the Renovation & Replacement funds, we wouldn’t be able to do this project. We owe our thanks to our customers for making critical projects like this possible.”

For more information about this project, contact Joel Metzger, Manager of External Affairs, at or (209) 754-3123.

Written by Joel Metzger
Began work at CCWD on May 1, 2014.