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Posted on: April 15, 2019

Upgrades to Golf Course Wastewater System Begin

View of golf course septic consturction area

Construction begins this spring on improvements to the wastewater system at the Churchill County Golf Course following the award of the project to Fisher Excavation, LLC of Fallon by the County Board of Commissioners on April 4. The winning bid was for $244,981.20.

Aging system required a solution

The county was aware of the aging septic system when it bought the golf course from private investors in 2010. Part of the existing system was original to the golf course (established in the 1950s). It has needed constant maintenance pumping over the years as use of the clubhouse increased and the soils surrounding the septic tank and its leech field stopped accepting effluent from the system.

This continuous need to pump the tank, along with the history of other system issues, has added significant maintenance costs for the county over time. This area also is part of the county’s source water protection area for its only municipal well. 

To address the problem, Churchill County considered a complete replacement of the system or connecting the existing system to the county-owned wastewater system that runs along Rice Road. The latter option was selected as the optimum solution because it eliminates the possibility of groundwater contamination and potential public health hazards and requires less maintenance over time. 

By removing this large, commercial septic system, the county will benefit from significant water quality improvements for both the municipal well and private wells in the surrounding area.

Relationships vital to process

In building relationships with several state environmental and public health agencies, Marie Henson, county building inspector, learned of the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection’s State Revolving Fund grant program and applied for it to fund the golf course wastewater project. 

“We got to know the NDEP staff and found them to be great people with the best interests of our communities in mind,” Henson said, noting that Jason Cooper and Michelle Stamates of NDEP and Cheryl Couch and Lisa Goodfellow at the Nevada Department of Agriculture were particularly helpful in navigating the application process.

The golf course application eventually rose to the top of NDEP’s project list based upon Churchill County’s readiness to start construction, and the county’s successful implementation of  other unrelated projects that came in on time and under budget. In mid-March, NDEP awarded Churchill County a total of $1.4 million to construct the golf course project and a separate project of septic-to-sewer consolidation of 25 residential homes on Lattin Road. 

Process expected to move quickly

Hooking up the golf course to the county-owned wastewater system is expected to be a fairly quick process once it begins. New pumps will be installed in the old septic tank and piping laid underground to pump the sludge 2,200 feet from the tank to the wastewater  access  under Rice Road, just north of the golf course. 

The project is not expected to have significant impact on golf course or clubhouse operations and is expected to be completed by the July 4 weekend.

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