Dayton and USDA celebrate Earth Day with new sewage project

Construction workers dig a trench Monday on Occidental Drive in Dayton to put the new sewer lines in that will replace the old septic tanks.

Construction workers dig a trench Monday on Occidental Drive in Dayton to put the new sewer lines in that will replace the old septic tanks.

DAYTON —In honor of Dayton Valley’s Earth Day celebration, the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development also held a celebration for the region’s new septic elimination project.

The project, which will affect nearly 500 Dayton homes, will replace the area’s septic tanks with gravity sewer lines. The project was necessary because domestic sewage had increased the nitrates in the drinking water, the contamination levels spiking in the last decade. The project received $11.9 million from organizations — such as USDA Rural Development funds, loans grants, and other Nevada organizations — and will install nearly 40,000 linear feet of new sanitary sewer lines.

The sewage elimination project has been in the works for nearly seven years, but work just recently started.

The USDA Rural Development held a tour of one of the developments that was in the process of installing the sewage tanks, where Mike Workman, director of Public Works Department and other partners talked to the audience about the process of the project, and where they hope to go. Audience members also were able to see workers dig a trench in a nearby neighborhood to put in the sewer line.

Workman said that the benefit to having this project is that the homeowners don’t have to pay the nearly $25,000 in costs that it would take to replace a septic line with a sewer line. The USDA’s funding is covering it. The only cost that the line will be for residents is a sewage bill that they will have to pay each month. Another benefit Workman said, is that the roads will also get to be reconstructed in the process.

“Most of the streets that are being worked on are some of the worst roads, so it is killing two birds with one stone,” Workman said.

Several people showed up to the trench site to see the work that had been done, including USDA State Director Sarah Adler, community members, Congressional representatives and other partners who worked on the project. The USDA Rural Development also invited a special guest to the ceremony: Kent Evans, the director of Water Programs Division for the USDA who flew in from Washington, D.C. for the event. Evans said he came out because it is important to see what environmental solutions are being done.

“The views I get to see, with the mountains,the people and the cleanup efforts, there couldn’t be a better Earth Day celebration,” Evans said.

After the tour of the development, about two dozen guests then went to the Dayton Community Center where they talked more about the sustainability efforts that this project brings to Dayton and to honor the partners that worked with the sewage elimination project.

“We work with hard working governments to help get what the community needs to create a sustainable community,” Adler said. “This is a multifaceted achievement that we are celebrating.”

Almost 94 percent of homeowners in the sewage elimination project area have signed off to hook their systems up to the new project. Projected completion is the first quarter of next year.

Follow reporter Taylor Pettaway on Twitter at @TaylorNVAppeal.


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