Sewer Expansion & Annexation

Guest post by Pamela Galloway

Reno councilwoman threatens involuntary annexations if sewer services expand

Near the conclusion of a Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency (TMRPA) meeting Thursday (2/14/19), Reno City Councilwoman Jenny Brekhus delivered a warning to Washoe County about sewer expansions.  Brekhus said that in her mind, the Toll Road area is a natural demarcation between the city and unincorporated Washoe County. However, if the county plans any ambitious expansions of sewer services hooked up to city sewer, Reno might start annexing areas involuntarily.  She did not spell out which areas.  (Most of the areas of Virginia Foothills, Toll Road, Steamboat Valley, Pleasant Valley and beyond are on septic tanks, and most are on wells.)

The county announced it will seek some $50 million in bonds for sewer. Possibly in response to citizens’ concerns about what this money would pay for, county engineer Dwayne Smith plans to give a presentation to the Washoe County Planning Commission in March.  Residents in Steamboat, Pleasant, and Washoe valleys expressed concern to the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) several weeks ago about what is planned.  Commissioners reassured public speakers that they would not be forced onto expensive sewer systems.

 

4 thoughts on “Sewer Expansion & Annexation

  1. TMWA states that it is using the Mt. Rose aquifer (Arrowcreek, Saddlehorn, Callahan Ranch areas) as domestic water “storage” and is now pumping treated waste water via injection wells into this aquifer. Callahan residents rely on septic/leach fields for domestic waste water disposal; and most rely on domestic wells for potable water supply. My concern is that TMWA needs to do more to protect this aquifer. They post annual reports of water quality from their abstraction wells in Callahan Ranch, but do not, to my knowledge, have a monitoring system in place to regularly monitor the groundwater quality upgradient and downgradient along the breadth and depth of this precious groundwater resource. Meanwhile we Callahan residents flush millions of gallons of sewerage into our leach fields annually, and hope that the leachate that infiltrates, eventually, into the groundwater is somehow remediated. Otherwise? Well, as they say – dilution is the solution! I want to see TMWA be proactive in getting Callahan residents onto municipal sewage treatment to protect the Mt. Rose aquifer, AND for the County Commissioners to require that developers front up the money for this infrastructure. We residents should not be taxed unduly just so that the developers can pad their coffers while paying only the bare minimum to upgrade infrastructure services to their developments, the same developments that are encroaching egregiously on our semi-rural way of life in south Washoe. We need to ensure that those free-for-all days are over.

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