Sonora Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant

The United States Department of Agriculture has offered Tuolumne Utilities District a $4.2 million grant and $15 million low-interest loan to update its nearly 50-year-old Sonora Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant that can be seen from Highway 108 near the entrance to the City of Sonora.

Tuolumne Utilities District anticipates receiving nearly $20 million in funding from the United States Department of Agriculture to upgrade its almost 50-year-old regional wastewater treatment plant in Sonora.

Ed Pattison, the district’s general manager, announced to the TUD Board of Directors on Tuesday that he recently got confirmation from the USDA that it will provide a $4.2 million grant and $15 million loan payable over 40 years at an interest rate of 1.1 percent.

“It is an exceptional offer by the USDA for TUD to after 50 years update a facility that is really struggling with meeting its regulatory permit requirements,” he said.

Pattison said he will be bringing a formal acceptance of the offer to the board for consideration at a future meeting.

“It’s a huge opportunity and great news because it really keeps some of the rate dollars as low as possible as we go through these multi-ten million dollar infrastructure upgrades,” he said.

The facility, formally referred to by TUD as the Sonora Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant, that’s visible to drivers along Highway 108 was constructed in the 1970s.

According to the district’s website, the plant was constructed in tandem with a network of sewer lines that collect sewage from the surrounding areas of Columbia, East Sonora, Mono Village, Mono Vista, Rancho Poquitos, Soulsbyville, Twain Harte and Willow Springs.

About 6,000 customers are served by TUD’s sewer system.

Contact Alex MacLean at amaclean@uniondemocrat.net or (209) 768-5175.

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