The Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) serves drinking water to the Sun City Palm Desert subdivision. The Sun City Palm Desert subdivision’s water system was constructed between 1992 and 2003 and has experienced numerous domestic water main leaks during the past decade, caused by the area’s corrosive soils damaging existing ductile iron pipe (DIP) water mains. These leaks result in a lack of water service to customers during repairs, disruption to the community, unexpected expenses, and additional staff time to address the impacts resulting from the pipe failures. A pipeline corrosion evaluation conducted in 2016 concluded that the existing DIP is subject to additional leaks and failure due to severe external corrosion, and all pipe in the Sun City Palm Desert subdivision should be replaced with new pipe.
The project will replace existing water mains in the subdivision which are deteriorating due to age and soil corrosivity. The project would replace 21,069 linear feet of existing 8-inch, 12-inch, and 18-inch diameter DIP and appurtenances with zinc-coated DIP to withstand soil corrosion, and has an expected useful life of 60 to 100 years. In addition, approximately 500, 1-inch service lines and 67 fire hydrants will be installed within the existing Riverside County roadway rights-of-way. Staging would also occur in the roadway rights-of-way. The terrain throughout the entire project area has been disturbed extensively by residential development, utility installations, and road maintenance. The project work will occur in areas of the Sun City Palm Desert subdivision along Golden Reed Drive, Allegro Drive, and adjacent streets. Phase 2 is included in this project, with the exception of emergency repairs within the Phase 2A area (along Nectarine Drive and Apricot Lane), which are not included. Phase 2 construction is expected to last for approximately 15 months.
A cultural resources memorandum was prepared for the project to determine the presence of cultural resources within the site. A cultural resources records search showed no previously-recorded resources within the area of potential effect (APE). A pedestrian field survey of the site was conducted on April 30, 2020. No cultural resources were identified on the project site during the survey. Archaeological resources are not anticipated to be encountered because the APE is developed and has been disturbed previously by the construction of the community and by the placement of existing subsurface utilities. If unanticipated cultural resources are encountered during ground-disturbing activities, work in the immediate area would halt and a qualified archaeologist would be contacted to evaluate the find. The cultural resources memorandum also evaluated the potential for historic resources to occur within the APE. Based on the information gathered, the archaeologist recommended a finding of no effect to historic properties under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).
A biological resources memorandum was prepared for the project to determine the potential for effect on plants and wildlife. A literature review and database queries were performed to gather information about occurrences of sensitive biological resources. A pedestrian survey of the APE was conducted on April 30, 2020. No state or federally listed threatened or endangered species were determined to have the potential to occur in the APE. No special-status plant or animal species were observed during the pedestrian survey. The project would have no effect on endangered or threatened botanical and wildlife species or on designated critical habitat. CVWD would implement standard practices necessary for compliance with California Fish and Game Code Section 3503, California Fish and Game Code Section 3503.5, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which would minimize potential temporary construction-related impacts on nesting birds that may be present within the APE during the bird nesting season. The site is not located within or immediately adjacent to a conservation area associated with the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (CVMSHCP).