After many years of costly repairs, Sunrise Shore Mutual Water Company (MWC) now has a system that produces clean, safe and affordable water. A $225,000 RCAC loan enabled the water system to make crucial upgrades in the nick of time.
“They had to move quickly or possibly be forced to haul water. RCAC rapidly processed a loan application and the project was under construction in less than 90 days,” said John Weidemaier, RCAC rural development specialist, loan officer.
Located near Lower Lake, California, Sunrise Shore MWC serves 42 homes of mainly retirees. Its aging water system, built with thin-walled military surplus pipe, was fraught with leaks causing frequent costly repairs, wasted water and astronomical electric bills due to excessive pumping. “The leaks were bankrupting our organization,” said Ted Comito, Sunrise Shore MWC board president. When the main distribution pipe burst, the utility “researched many solutions. RCAC was by far the best option,” said Comito.
RCAC’s loan funded replacement of approximately 3,000 feet of water distribution lines that eliminated the leaks. Additionally, the project installed a new filtration system, treating the water’s foul odor and color from high mineral levels; and two new 5,000 gallon water tanks. “Now we have beautiful, crystal clear water. We have probably the best water system in all Lake County. RCAC has been wonderful,” said resident Patrick Moore.
“The time frame from planning to completion for major system repairs is usually measured in years. Working together, the board and residents of this small community water system replaced their distribution lines in less than six months,” said Weidemaier. “Small rural water and wastewater systems facing similar problems need to know that RCAC, along with state and federal agencies, can provide technical and financial assistance to make needed repairs to their systems,” he added.