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New sewer line will help reduce electricity usage

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POSTED July 7, 2012 1:49 a.m.

It isn’t a glamour project but when it is completed it’ll assure that what you flush will get to the Manteca wastewater treatment plant safely and at minimal expense.

The proposed 2012-13 municipal budget includes $75,000 to purchase additional right of way for replacing the central sewer pipeline from Union Road to Airport Way that carries 90 percent of the city’s wastewater to the treatment plant.

The current pipeline has deteriorated beyond repair and needs replacement.

By burying the replacement line deeper, it will eliminate the need for a pump station at the park maintenance yard near the golf course by allowing gravity to move sewage. That means lower energy costs. Currently, water treatment plant operations plus pump stations consume $1.2 million a year in electricity.

An additional $185,000 will be spent on right of way in the 2013-14 year along with $340,000 for design work. The balance of the $4.5 million tab will be spent in fiscal year 2014-15 for the actual construction.

While the project will help reduce energy costs, a proposed solar farm at the city’s treatment facility plus a co-generation plant to convert methane gas from the digester at the treatment into electricity is expected to significantly whittle down the $1.2 million energy bill.

That $3.9 million solar from is expected to be constructed in two phases over the next four years.

The cost savings don’t include the just announced PG&E request for an 8 percent hike in power costs.

Both projects will be paid for with set aside funding from monthly sewer fees charged to users.

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