Who would have thought a financial report would be fun reading? For the 10th year the El Dorado Irrigation District has issued its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. The report, according to the introduction, not only follows Government Accounting Standards but also Generally Accepted Accounting Standards and standards set by the Governmental Finance Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada. Last year the latter association gave EID a “certificate of excellence in financial reporting.”
The independent auditor, Maze and Associates, gave EID a thumbs up for internal controls, financial statements, contracts, and adherence to laws and regulations.
That is all routine and it is good it is routine, with no material weaknesses noted.
The interesting part of the report is a description of the district. For instance, some of you may know EID has sewer plants in El Dorado Hills and Cameron Park. Did you know it had ones in Camino Heights and Gold Ridge Forest as well?
One of the reasons it costs more to provide water and sewer service here than in the flatlands of Sacramento is the terrain here. EID’s service area covers 220 square miles ranging from 500 feet in elevation in El Dorado Hills to 4,000 feet elevation in Pollock Pines and serves 100,000 people. And the water comes from even higher — 7,000-8,000 feet in elevation via 22 miles of flumes, canals and tunnels. Besides drinking water the high mountain lakes feed a 21-megawatt powerhouse.
Sly Park at 3,400 feet elevation is another big source of water. Water for El Dorado Hills is pumped out of Folsom Lake.
To handle all the elevation changes EID has 200 pressure regulating zones, 1,295 miles of pipeline, 27 miles of ditches, five water treatment plants, 34 storage reservoirs and 38 pumping stations. That’s a lot of assets to maintain.
But, wait, there’s more. Here’s the straight poop on the sewer system. It has more than 560 miles of pipeline and force mains, 64 lifts stations and the four sewer plants previously mentioned. The water coming out of those sewer plants has to be pure enough to keep the creeks below them pristine. EID has recently had to replace and rebuild three lift stations in El Dorado Hills. Those suckers cost about $1.5 million apiece to rebuild. That’s cheaper than paying fines for sewage overflows from lift stations that are worn out.
Finally, EID provides recycled water, mainly to El Dorado Hills and the Serrano Golf Course. It has five storage tanks, five pump stations and 79 miles of pipeline for recycled water. It’s treated so well that one can drink it. More tasty than when the late B.T.Collins drank malathion.
Everything mentioned above is worth more than $800 million.