Only on 2: Dayton Sewage System Could Help Environment, Water Su - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Only on 2: Dayton Sewage System Could Help Environment, Water Supply

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About 500 houses in a Dayton subdivision are in a transition that will replace septic tanks with a sewage system. Lyon County is working with several agencies on the project because they say it will protect groundwater.

"Over time, it's inevitable that septic tanks will leak and contaminate the environment, and this community is on wells," Kent Evans, USDA Water Programs Director said. "So, you either had to get everybody on the public water system or get everybody off individual septic tanks."

Experts say the neighborhood, just north of Highway 50, has 7-times more septic tanks than is recommended, with one every 75 feet. That has lead to higher nitrate levels in the aquifer, that could cause health problems for residents that rely on it for their water supply.

"It's very important to get all of these septic tanks converted to municipal sewer so that we could help preserve that aquifer for future generations," Mike Workman, Lyon County Public Works Director said.

Workman says rural communities across the country are dealing with this issue, usually because development happens before planning.

"They have sometimes grown a little quickly, during a boom time, and we've allowed that development to occur without really thinking ahead to the infrastructure that should be in place," Sarah Adler, USDA State Director of Rural Development said.

97 percent of the subdivision's residents have agreed to connect to the new system, eliminating septic tank maintenance. Once completed, sewage will drain into the waste water treatment center and get recycled.

"It's treated," Workman said. "The effluent is created and we reuse the effluent on our golf courses here, in Dayton."

The project will cost nearly $15 million and is paid by local, state, and federal agencies, putting about 40 people to work.

"What great stability for this crew to be coming to this neighborhood for several months more and accomplishing this environmental protection while they get a paycheck."

"The construction job is expected to last for the next year.
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