Storey County Receives $344,000 Water Loan for Virginia City

Kelly Clark
Carson City, NV
Release Date
Sep 14, 2020

Historic Mining Town Replaces Water Tanks, Invests $23 Million in Water & Sewer Infrastructure Over Seven Years

USDA Rural Development Nevada State Director Phil Cowee today announced a $344,000 loan to Storey County to cover the costs of replacing water storage tanks in Virginia City, one of the last phases in $23 million worth of water and sewer improvement projects in the historic mining town.

The work has been challenging to say the least, as all construction occurred in the Comstock Historic District, where historic artifacts are a common part of the landscape and conservation of artifacts is required by local, state, and federal law.

“The Trump Administration is focused on infrastructure improvement and Virginia City is proof that we can work together to complete complicated jobs,” said State Director Cowee. “Here’s a 160-year old mining town, very dependent on tourists, and their water and wastewater systems were stretched to capacity to handle the volume during the summer season. I am proud of the way our staff and the county and state have worked together and projects have proceeded and concluded in spite of numerous obstacles.”

The water tanks are the fourth phase in the Virginia City and Gold Hill area infrastructure improvements. Initial work included construction of a new wastewater treatment plant. The second step was to replace 13 miles of historic and dilapidated sewer lines throughout Virginia City. A subsequent phase replaced water pipeline from the 5-mile reservoir to Virginia City.

This current phase will replace storage tanks originally built in the 1950s and 1980s with two 500,000-gallon tanks to serve 557 residential connections. In addition, within the next couple of months, the community septic system in Gold Hill will be replaced with a package sewer treatment plant that will bring the system into compliance with Nevada Division of Environmental Protection requirements.

Upon completion, Storey County will have invested more than $23 million in water and sewer improvements.

Total Funding:

FY 13 Phase 1:           Wastewater Treatment Plant combination loan/grant $5.3 million

FY 15 Phase 2:           Wastewater Collection system combination loan/grant $13 million

FY 16 Phase 3:           Water line replacement $2.1 million loan

FY 19/20 Phase 4:      Tank Replacement combination $1.045 mill loan/$737,000 grant

FY 19 Phase 5:           Gold Hill Sewer Package Plant $1.049 loan/grant

Total funding:              $23.3 million loan/grant funding ($10.495 million loan/ $12.822 mil grant)

For more information on the Water and Environmental Program in Nevada, visit the agency website at