Board of Directors May 23 meeting wrap:

May 23, 2018

News Release                                                                                                                                                                                      

Grass Valley, CA – The Nevada Irrigation District (NID) Board of Directors adopted an addendum to the Combie Reservoir Sediment and Mercury Removal Project, and encumbered funds for the Iron Horse/Brewer Road Waterline Extension project during its May 23 meeting.

Present were President William Morebeck, Vice President John H. Drew, and Directors Nancy Weber, Nick Wilcox and Scott Miller.

The Board voted unanimously to adopt an addendum to the Combie Reservoir Sediment and Mercury Removal Project that includes a modification to allow a dry removal process to supplement the wet removal process during the low water season. This will better allow NID to achieve the planned removal objectives of 150,000 to 200,000 tons. Read more here.

In other NID matters, the Board unanimously agreed to encumber funds for the Iron Horse/Brewer Road District Financed Waterline Extension project. Read more about the project here.

The General Manager reported District water storage is 265,961 acre-feet, which is 127 percent of average for the year and 98 percent maximum reservoir capacity. Snowpack is 40 percent of average.

The next regular meeting of the NID Board of Directors, will be held at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 at the NID Business Center located at 1036 West Main Street, Grass Valley. NID Board meetings are open to the public.



Contact: Susan Lauer

(530) 271-6735 ext. 335


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NID ready to test public schools for lead contamination under new law

January 23, 2018

News Release

Nevada Irrigation District (NID) is ready to assist local schools under a new law that requires water utilities to complete lead sampling of drinking water supplies of public schools built before 2010.

The new sampling requirement took effect Jan. 1, when Assembly Bill (AB) 746 became law under the jurisdiction of the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board), which oversees water quality throughout the state.

At District cost, NID will sample for lead in drinking water at public schools – kindergarten through high schools – as well as day care and preschools on public school properties within its service areas. The testing will be completed by July 1, 2019.

If a school’s lead level exceeds 15 parts per billion (ppb), then NID must take a sample of water entering the school to help determine the possible lead source.

Primarily, lead in drinking water comes from materials used in water service lines and home plumbing. For more information on the Lead Sampling in Schools Program and information on AB 746, visit the State Water Board’s webpage here.

NID treats and distributes more than 2.5 billion gallons of surface water each year. This water originates in the Sierra Nevada snowpack and is routed through Lake Spaulding and transported to the District’s water treatment plants.

NID routinely tests its own systems to ensure the highest quality drinking water. Read annual water quality reports here.

Elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead can cause damage to the brain and kidneys, and can interfere with the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of the body.

Contact: Susan Lauer

(530) 271-6735 ext. 335


Loma Rica Reservoir cleanup creates more water capacity for community and fire use

January 18, 2018

                                                                     Jan. 18, 2018

Contact: Susan Lauer


A large-scale effort to remove sediment from the Loma Rica Reservoir has reclaimed lost water storage of about 12,000 cubic yards of material. That means NID has regained water storage of about 2.4 million gallons (or 7.4 acre-feet) that can be used for community supplies.

Just east of Nevada County Air Park, the reservoir stores raw water delivered through the Cascade Canal and the 48-inch diameter Banner Cascade Pipeline from Deer Creek to the Loma Rica Water Treatment Plan. It also is a supply route for the Chicago Park Canal for raw-water customers, although it is not directly connected with any local creeks nor does it discharge to any natural water bodies or streams.

In addition, the Grass Valley Air Attack Base uses reservoir water to mix retardant dropped by tankers dispatched from the local airport to fight wildfires regionally and around the state. Last year NID contributed 1 million gallons of water to the air attack base free of charge as part of its community firefighting support. For comparison, it takes 660,430 gallons to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

In previous years, NID has contributed the following amounts of water to the county’s Air Attack Base:

  • 2016 – 714,000 gallons
  • 2015 – 871,420 gallons
  • 2014 – 878,900 gallons

When first constructed in the early 1960s, Loma Rica Reservoir had a capacity of 31.6 million gallons (96.9 acre-feet). Since then, silt and vegetation growth has significantly decreased that overall capacity.

NID Directors authorized a $200,000 contract with Lorang Brothers Construction of Colfax on Oct. 25, to clean out the reservoir with assistance from NID maintenance workers.

Heavy metals mercury and arsenic related to past gold mining activities plague much of the county’s waterways. Sediment often carries these hazardous waste metals through streams which are then deposited in lakes and reservoirs. Because the Loma Rica Reservoir receives water from man-made canals and upper country water sources, it was anticipated that these heavy metals would not be at levels indicating past mining activities.

“It is anticipated that heavy metal concentrations associated with sediment that will be removed during this project will approximately the same as background soil levels typically found in non-mining associated soils in Nevada County,” noted the project’s negative declaration document from 2013.

That indeed was the case, based on soil testing of removed sediment in November. Samples were collected and analyzed by BSK Associates Laboratory for toxics, including arsenic and mercury. The firm conducted soil testing from 10 different sites. The tested samples indicated mercury was ND or “Non Detect.” This means that mercury was not detectable at the legally reportable limit of .50 mg/kg, which is the best possible result.

“Thus, we tested and no issues were present other than normal, clean dirt for the area,” said Gary King, NID’s engineering manager.

The Loma Rica cleaning effort is an example of how NID is committed to finding ways to optimize capacity of its existing infrastructure in order to ensure a resilient water supply for its customers now and into the future.



NID Nov. 8 Board Meeting Highlights

November 9, 2017

NID Directors authorize donation to the Nevada County Historical Society and discuss Drought Contingency Plan


Grass Valley, CA – A donation to the Nevada County Historical Society for a kitchen remodel and the Nevada Irrigation District (NID) drought contingency plan were among topics addressed during the Nov. 8 Board of Directors meeting.

Present were President Nick Wilcox, Vice President William Morebeck, alongside Directors Nancy Weber, John H. Drew and Scott Miller.

Directors approved $5,515 from the 2018 donations budget to support the Nevada County Historical Society’s efforts to remodel the kitchen at the History Center (formerly the Searls Historical Library). The library contains an extensive map collection including federal, state and local maps of the county dating from the 1850s. NID staff and consultants regularly use the facility for historical research. The vote was 3-2.

In other NID Board matters, Directors discussed the District’s Drought Contingency Plan, which needs to be updated every five years. The purpose of the Plan is to provide guidance to staff and customers to help minimize water supply shortage impacts during droughts. The plan identifies action levels, appropriate agency responses, water demand reduction goals, as well as provides recommended demand management measures to assist customers in water conservation.

The General Manager reported district water storage is 186,053 acre-feet, 66 percent of capacity. Precipitation to-date at Bowman Lake is 2.91 inches, or 48 percent of average for the water year.

The next regular meeting of the NID Board of Directors will be held at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at the NID Business Center located at 1036 West Main Street, Grass Valley. NID Board meetings are open to the public.
Contact: Susan Lauer  (530) 273-6185

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NID “Thank You” to Customers as South Yuba Canal Resumes Operations

June 5, 2017

Susan Holt
(530) 271-6735


Grass Valley – The Nevada Irrigation District extends a sincere “thank you” to treated and agriculture water customers for their extraordinary conservation efforts during the past month while repairs were underway on Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) South Yuba Canal.

The canal serves the Deer Creek Powerhouse and is a main water conveyance facility for NID, supplying water throughout Nevada County. Significant damage to the canal was caused by a landslide during an unusually rainy February, creating a breach and interrupting service. Continued wet weather through April caused repair delays for PG&E.

To ensure adequate supply, NID had requested a temporary water use reduction during May, and district customers stepped up to the challenge. Voluntary cutbacks eliminated the need for mandatory reduction measures. Water is again flowing through the canal and regular deliveries have resumed.

NID would also like to recognize the hard-working crews at PG&E, for allocating the necessary resources and putting in extraordinary hours to repair the canal within the targeted time frame, amidst increment, and at times, extreme weather conditions.

NID Supports Master Gardeners Spring Plant Sale

May 12, 2017

Susan Holt
(530) 271-6735

NID Supports Master Gardeners Spring Plant Sale

Grass Valley – NID encourages area residents to attend and take advantage of the annual Spring Plant Sale held by the University of California Master Gardeners of Nevada County. The event takes place on Saturday, May 13, between 9:00 am and noon, at the NID Business grounds, located at 1036 West Main Street in Grass

NID and the University of California formed a partnership in 1991 to establish a garden to demonstrate sustainable landscape techniques for home gardeners. NID installed and maintains water lines and electricity, and Master Gardeners plan, install and maintain the garden.

The purpose of the partnership is to support regional biodiversity, conserve resources, and minimize pollution and waste. Master Gardeners apply their expertise with a focus on climate and soil adapted plants for the Sierra foothills. The partnership also furthers the District’s ongoing dedication to conscientious landscaping and gardening techniques.

“We encourage the public to get here early,” said Ann Wright, Master Gardeners’ public information representative. “Over 7,000 plants will be available, including fifty varieties of tomatoes and twenty varieties of peppers; it’s a lot of fun!”

Please visit the UC Master Gardeners of Nevada County website for more information:

NID Requests Temporary Water Use Reduction for Portions of Nevada County

May 9, 2017

Chip Close
(530) 273-6185
or: Susan Holt(530) 271-6735




Grass Valley – The effects from one of the wettest years on record are still being felt. Heavy rains in early February created a landslide that caused significant damage to Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) South Yuba Canal in the Lowell Hill area east of Nevada City. The canal is owned and operated by PG&E and serves the Deer Creek Powerhouse; in addition it is one of the main water conveyance facilities for Nevada Irrigation District (NID), supplying homes, businesses, farms, and ranches throughout Nevada County. The slide caused a section of the elevated canal to break free of its footings, creating a breach and interrupting service.

PG&E notified NID and identified plans to restore the South Yuba Canal after the landslide took out approximately 100 feet of flume in early February. Following the discovery, NID declared a state of emergency to help expedite repairs to the damaged flume to minimize the impacts to customers. PG&E’s work to restore the canal has diligently continued on steep and shifting terrain during ongoing winter storms into April. Unfortunately, the continued wet weather through April has caused delays to the restoration schedule.

NID has been utilizing all available supplies and numerous pumping facilities to keep pace with customer demand. These measures have provided adequate flows, but may not be sustainable as natural runoff dwindles.


Repairs Under Way

To maintain adequate water supply, NID is asking the community for a 25% voluntary reduction in usage from May 15 until May 31 when the canal is expected to return to service.

NID is asking treated water customers in and around Grass Valley and Nevada City to limit outdoor watering. Agricultural customers located in the Chicago Park/ Alta Sierra/Penn Valley area and down the Highway 49 corridor are also asked to limit their water use wherever possible.

“The District thanks you for your efforts in conserving during this anticipated brief reduction in service, and expects full deliveries to be restored by the first week in June,” said NID Water Operations Manager, Chip Close.

PG&E is committed to keeping NID updated as conditions change and work nears completion.

NID will post updates on the repair effort on its website. For information, see the Irrigation Water Outages link at

The 2nd Annual Mulch Magic Giveaway!

April 27, 2017


Susan Holt
(530) 271-6735

The 2nd Annual Mulch Magic Giveaway!

Grass Valley – NID and the Nevada County Resource Conservation District (NCRCD) are highlighting the multiple benefits of using mulch for gardening and landscaping with the 2nd Annual Mulch Magic Giveaway. This event will provide approximately 160 cubic yards of shredded redwood bark to community residents, and is part of NID’s continuing efforts to promote conscientious water use and conservation in our region.

The Mulch Magic Giveaway begins today, April 26, 2017, and will continue through June 30, 2017, or while supplies last. The community is invited to participate and may now begin picking up vouchers from the NID Business Office, located at 1036 West Main Street in Grass Valley, or the NCRCD office, located at 113 Presley Way, Suite 1 in Grass Valley. Each voucher entitles the holder to ½ cubic yard of mulch per residence, and is redeemable at Rare Earth Landscaping in Grass Valley, or Four Seasons Landscaping in Penn Valley. The mulch is provided in bulk and will require a truck for pickup.

Some of the benefits of using mulch include:

  • Sixty gallons of water saved per week, by adding 2 to 3 inches of mulch around trees and plants for each 1,000 square feet of irrigated landscape.
  • Mulch keeps soil moist and slows evaporation, allowing water to sink into the soil, which reduces the rate of watering needed for plants to thrive.
  • Mulch breaks down into the soil, providing nutrients for trees and plants.
  • Mulch protects plants by moderating soil temperature and suppressing weeds.

For more information on the Mulch Magic Giveaway, or on the benefits of using mulch, please contact: Kaycee Strong at 530-273-6185, ext. 244.

About Treated Water Outages

January 8, 2015

The Nevada Irrigation District operates and maintains over 300 miles of treated water pipelines. From time to time, water service through these pipelines is subject to interruption due to planned maintenance and unplanned emergencies. The District makes every effort to inform customers two weeks in advance for planned treated water outages. Occasionally, outages occur from emergencies for which there may be little or no advance notice. The latest information on planned and unplanned treated water outages is listed below, and will be updated as conditions change.


September 25, 2012

NID Board Balances Costs on Cement Hill Project

May 1, 2012

April 25, 2012

Contact: Ron Nelson
(530) 273-6185
Or: Dave Carter
(530) 265-NEWS


GRASS VALLEY – Directors of the Nevada Irrigation District on Wednesday (Apr. 25) allocated the final costs for the recently completed $10.3 million Cement Hill Water Supply Project.

The project, which included a new 1 million gallon storage tank and more than 11 miles of new pipelines to supply up to 240 parcels near Nevada City, was made possible by local property owners who petitioned NID and then voted to form the Cement Hill Community Facilities District (CFD).

To finance the water improvements, property owners who would benefit from the new water supply agreed to pay annual assessments of $1385 for a period of up to 25 years, however, property owners have asked that the term be limited to 20 years.

Changes in the original project led to increased costs of approximately $900,000, which were paid by NID. These included the addition of more fire hydrants and service lateral pipelines installed before area roads were repaved.

Directors this week approved several measures to allocate project budget, grant, loan and interest funding while keeping property owner assessments at the original level and holding the term of payments to 20 years.

The district aims to recoup the investment through additional customers, who may pay higher fees to connect to the water system, and increased tax revenues due to improved property values.

“We’re doing everything we can to find a way to make this work, without placing extra costs on our existing customers,” said Director Scott Miller. Board President Nick Wilcox added, “We want to keep the deal we made.”

The Cement Hill project was a pilot project for NID and among the first to be planned and partially funded through the district’s Community Investment Program.

In other business, NID directors:

•approved environmental studies for the new 3.5-mile Scotts Flat Trail from the Five Mile House (elev. 3600 ft.) to Scotts Flat Reservoir (elev. 3100 ft). The biking and hiking trail is being built on publicly-owned U.S. Forest Service and NID lands and will replace the steep and eroded “Scotts Drop Trail” that crosses private property without permits. NID Recreation Manager said the trail is expected to open in July or August.

•welcomed two new employees who joined the district in April. Utility Worker Rob Kreiter is a U.S. Army veteran who has held temporary positions with NID. He lives with his family in Nevada City. Electrical Systems Technician Brian Berg brings 10 years of electrical experience to his new position. He and his family live in Grass Valley.

The next regular meeting of the NID Board of Directors will be held at 9 a.m. on May 9 at the NID Business Center in Grass Valley. NID board meetings are open to the public.

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