By SUNNY LOCKWOOD
Calaveras County Water District directors got a look at a new truck Tuesday that will double the district's ability to serve its sewer customers.
The new 2,000-gallon Vac-Con Truck was shown to directors during CCWD's regular board meeting. The truck is designed to vacuum septic tanks and flush sewer systems, said Operations and Maintenance Superintendent Fred Burnett.
The district has been using a smaller, 900-gallon truck, but because of CCWD's far-flung sewer plants and septic tanks, Burnett said the second, larger truck was needed.
"We now have two crews and two types of trucks," Burnett said. "They'll be working at the same time. Our service area is just too scattered (for one truck to do a proper job)."
CCWD has small sewer plants around the county and about 600 septic tanks connected to these small plants, which the district services.
Burnett said the largest sewer plant 160,000 gallons a day is in Copperopolis. The next largest 110,000 gallons a day is in La Contenta. The other small plants are in Arnold, Forest Meadows, Vallecito, West Point and Wilseyville.
In addition, CCWD runs leach-field systems in the Ebbetts Pass area, in Big Trees State Park and outside Murphys, Burnett said.
In all, CCWD services about 600 septic tanks around the county. These private tanks are hooked up to CCWD's sewer system pipes, rather than to a private leach field.
"We're responsible for pumping those tanks when they need it," Burnett said. "The new truck will help us do that. It also has a hydro high-pressure flusher so we can run the hose down a sewer line in the street and flush it out."
Burnett said the new, bigger truck will be used where sewer lines are in the street and can be reached easily. The older, smaller truck will be used for more remote tanks and pipes he said.
Jim Deaton, CCWD budget and finance manager, said the new truck was bought on a five-year lease-purchase agreement at 3.5 percent interest. Payments are $23,875 twice a year. At the end of the lease, the district will pay $1 to own the truck, which should be good for 15 to 20 years of service, he said.