Tuolumne County administration and emergency services staff have received $1.6 million in funding from the State Water Resources Control Board for extending a Tuolumne Utilities District pipeline to the rural Quartz-Stent area south of Jamestown.

Earlier this month, TUD staff said county officials were tracking 30 wells that are either in a state of failure due to drought or show signs of arsenic and/or nitrate contamination.

According to TUD, 20 households had documented dry wells and 10 wells had arsenic and/or nitrate contamination.

Funding approval for the pipeline is for TUD and the county’s Office of Emergency Services, according to Ethan Billigmeier, a county administrative analyst. The money comes from the Cleanup and Abatement Account and the Public Water System Emergency Response Program.

More money will come from the state Department of Water Resources emergency drought funds, according to Billigmeier.

Engineering staff with TUD will survey and design the pipeline extension, finalize alignment of the pipeline, and acquire rights to land needed for the pipeline, according to Billigmeier. People at TUD anticipate adding 70 new water connections on the extended pipeline.

According to district staff, TUD already has an 8-inch water main in the Quartz-Stent vicinity on Karlee Lane. That main will have to be extended about 11,000 feet, more than 2 miles, to reach the Stent community.

County officials put out a press release Wednesday that did not say why the pipeline is needed. They did say “the success of this project is a testament to the strong working relationships of local and state agencies coming together to solve a problem.”

Anyone who lives in the Quartz-Stent area and wants to connect to the TUD system is urged to call TUD’s Engineering Department at (209) 532-5536, ext. 526. People with questions for Tuolumne County OES can call (209) 533-5511.