CARSON CITY – Virginia City received a $344,000 federal loan this week to cover part of the costs to replace outdated water storage tanks that serve the community. The tank replacement is phase four of a five-phase project to improve the Virginia City and Gold Hill area’s water and wastewater infrastructure.
The funding, just a small portion of the $23 million project, was provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan & Grant Program in Nevada.
“Here’s a 160-year old mining town, very dependent on tourists, and their water and wastewater systems were stretched to capacity to handle the volume during the summer season,” said USDA Rural Development Nevada State Director Phil Cowee. “I am proud of the way our staff and the county and state have worked together and projects have proceeded and concluded in spite of numerous obstacles.”
The new 500,000-gallon tanks will replace tanks originally built in the 1950s and 1980s and will serve the 557 residential connections in the community. Phase five of the project, which begins within the next several months, will replace the community septic system in Gold Hill with a package sewer treatment plant to bring the system in compliance with environmental regulations.
Previous project phases included construction of a new wastewater treatment plant, replacement of 13 miles of dilapidated sewer lines throughout Virginia City, and replacement of the water pipeline from the 5-mile reservoir to the city.
Officials said the work has been challenging because Virginia City lies within the Comstock Historic District and conservation of the area’s historic artifacts are required by law.