Woodlake prepares to flow forward with sewer overhaul

(Rigo Moran)

City plans to get started on $12 million sewer project in mid-April to increase the city’s sewer capacity amid Woodlake’s expansion

WOODLAKE – The city is gearing up to make some improvements to its sewer system with some state funded grants to enhance the system’s capacity, repair old lines and facilitate the city’s upcoming developments.

The city of Woodlake is preparing to start its long-awaited sewer project this April to increase the capacity to the city’s sewer system over the next year, which will both increase the sewer system’s capacity and repair old lines all over the city. The project is meant to help support new housing development, parks and the overall expansion of the city.

“It fixes a bunch of old lines, but it is also a brand new trunk line for a wastewater treatment plant to kind of double their capacity,” City Manager Ramon Lara said.

The city expects to start the project in the beginning-to-middle of April, and to continue working on it for about a year. Because the project is replacing old lines, the city will have to do the repair section-by-section. Residents who are having their sewer lines repaired over the next year can expect to have less water capacity during the day’s general work hours.

“Little-by-little, we’re moving a lot of the industrial businesses away from septic into our sewer system, where it ends up at our wastewater treatment plant,” Lara said. “There, we’re properly treating the solids instead of the old septic system. That way it really helps eliminate any future issues with our groundwater.”

All $12 million of the project’s funding is being funded by state grant money. Lara said some of the lines need to be replaced because they are old and corroded or need more lines.

Some of the reasoning behind the improvements is to keep up with the city’s new housing and park developments. Lara said the larger trunk line will improve the sewer system enough that the city won’t have to increase capacity again “in our lifetime,” and allow Woodlake to continue growing both in residential and commercial areas without fear of not having the infrastructure to keep up with development.

Woodlake started three new housing developments last year and will have 10 parks in town once all of their current projects are finished.

The Sun-Gazette reported in November of 2023, that the city had three housing developments underway: Greenwood, Hillside and Kaweah.

Greenwood is the biggest housing development the city is working on, which has 133 single-family homes. Hillside is the second largest development with 75 new single-family homes. Both of these housing developments are having parks constructed within walking distance of the homes for the residents to enjoy.

The third and smallest housing development, Kaweah, only has 25 single-family homes and is considered close enough to Hillside Estates that the residents can use its neighborhood park.

Given that all of these expansions to the park will require more sewer capacity, the city is taking preemptive measures to ensure that the city has a strong enough infrastructure to support the city now as well as any expansions they may need in the future.

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