Truckee Meadows Water Authority has two water treatment plants – Glendale and Chalk Bluff – that treat and deliver water to its 330,000 customers every day. Approximately 85 percent of the water provided to customers is surface water from the Truckee River that is treated by these plants; the remainder is groundwater supplied from more than 32 area ground water wells. The Glendale Water Treatment Plant was put into service in 1976 and over the years has undergone several improvements in order to continue to meet the demands of customers.
Glendale Water Improvement Project
The Glendale Water Improvement Project, was completed in 2011, and replaced the river diversion into the plant with full capture of water allowing the plant to operate at its full potential. The diversion is located just upstream of the Glendale bridge, southwest of the intersection of Glendale Avenue and Galletti Way. The original diversion was made from rock and concrete rubble which leaked, causing TMWA to temporarily install pumps in order to help ensure adequate water during peak times. The original diversion also did not provide for the full capture of releases from TMWA’s upstream storage reservoirs during dry years. During such periods, TMWA’s operations personnel have had to pump the river and seal the existing rock/concrete structure with plastic sheeting and sand bags, requiring the undesirable use of heavy equipment in the river channel. This condition becomes quite serious during lengthy droughts when the only water in the river may be the community’s drought reserves. Even with these measures, the diversion still lost water during drought years that could otherwise have been used for municipal water supply purposes if a more reliable structure was in place. This situation occurred in the summer of 1994 and could occur in the future. Due to the nature of the diversion it was also prone to severe damage during flooding and made for difficult access for both recreational users – boaters and swimmers – and fish.
Aeriel View of Glendale Diversion
Because of the extreme inadequacies of the existing diversion, it became imperative that it be reconstructed with a permanent, reliable structure that would help TMWA meet the region’s water supply needs of today and for the future.
TMWA completed a rigorous public involvement process over a two year period. This included a series of public workshops and community meetings eventually resulting in consensus regarding the design criteria. These criteria were tested, refined and confirmed with the successful operation of a small scale model which ultimately led to final design and permitting. A permit for construction was issued by the United States Army Corps of Engineers in July 2007. The project was completed the summer of 2011.