Operation Self Sufficiency



QUALIFICATIONS: Graduate civil engineer from San Diego State University, licensed professional engineer in state of CA

COMMENTS: "My background is basically in waterworks for over 30 years.... I started out in a small water district in southern California where I .. did surveying work, drafting work, drawing out pipelines, waterlines, similar to what we're doing now in the association. Then I went on to a couple other districts. Last district I worked at, I also did some design, I designed probably over 100 miles of pipe ranging in size from 6 inch to 36 inch in diameter, PVC pipe similar to what we're using on our job.... Also I did some assessment district engineering."

Steve Brannon points to some of the extra-hard "blue granite" encountered in pipeline trenches that slows progress.

Documents & resources

Presentation given to members in May 2015 to introduce the Infrastructure and Master Plan — Operation Self Sufficiency

May 2015 Town Hall

Pipeline donations

Darrel & Patty Dietrich x2

Hal & Diane Browder

James & Beverly Gulley

Patrick Rodriguez &
Diane Sommers

Rick & Victoria Woods

Steve & Rebecca Brannon

Ken & Roxie Harrington

Kenneth & Michele Sartain

Bob & Tammie Civello

Jason & Veronica Longcor

Mike Ratley

Edward & Debbi Martini

Timothy & Sarah Curley

Michael & Jane Schimmel

Bart Fortner

Jon Leonard & Peggy Meneley

M & C Hall

Frank & Liz Brown

Greg & Mary Wheeler


Cen-Cal Machinery Co., Inc

Trencher at work on Tioga Drive.

2017 project update

YLOA's pipeline replacement and road repavement project is ending its second full construction year.

The project was launched as an effort that, for a 13.5% increase in annual dues, would replace our development's leaking pipes and repave roads. The project was launched aiming at a 20-year time frame. Since then, managers acknowledge that work has progressed slower than projected, but there are reasons for that along with a clear expectation that the project will hit its stride in coming seasons.

YLOA General Manager Layton Gillette and engineering consultant Steve Brannon were asked to give an update.

LAYTON GILLETTE: "I would say, you have to be realistic. The first year was a training year, the second year was a weather anomaly that happens maybe five times in a hundred years. It not only stopped our progress but stopped progress all over the state of California and tore up the roads and water. I would like this year to be an honest evaluation of exactly what we can and can't do under normal conditions. The training's over with, we don't have the weather at this point causing that kind of problem. And this will be a test as to how many feet we can actually do, hook up and go through and really know exactly where we think we're at."

STEVE BRANNON: First, he provided the following map showing where pipelines have been replaced, both in a previous project 7-8 years ago, and in the OSS project since 2015:

The road sections highlighted in blue show where pipeline has been replaced — either 7-8 years ago in a previous project, or as part of the Operation Self Sufficiency project that started in 2015. From left, the OSS work done so far is (1) part of Long Hollow Drive and the end of Sequoia Court, (2) Kit Carson Court and Jim Bowie Court, (3) part of Titan Drive, Titan Court and part of Holiday Drive, and (4) part of Tioga Drive and part of North Dome Drive.

Below, Brannon's map of water leak locations from 1999 to 2014.

Brannon's assessment of the project to date:

To complete the year, we're looking at this section on Running Deer and a couple side streets there. That takes care of almost 300 of the leaks we had initially of the 600 we reported a couple years ago. The project we did about seven years ago covered about 150 of those leaks and the OSS project has covered another 150 so we basically cut down the amount of leaks areas in half since we started this project."

COMING YEARS: "For the next couple three years we'll be finishing out some of these heavier areas where we have leaks and then at that time, we'll probably start a phasing where we'll go in and start working in an area, do all our work in that area in one year, however much footage we can get."

HOW MANY WORKING ON PROJECT? "Five permanent people and then two temp people, flaggers.... Normal contractors will have probably almost twice as many people, because they'll have guys doing separate jobs... (but) This is what we budgeted for. We tried to do it right, but on the cheap. We're doing a good job. Our guys are putting the pipe in, how a normal contractor would install it."

TRENCHER PERFORMANCE: "The trencher's been able to dig through basically everything we have....We haven't been stopped by rock that the trencher hasn't been able to get through — other than stuff that has a lateral, we have to dig out with a backhoe which is very few areas right now."

IS PROGRESS LESS THAN EXPECTED? "We estimated initially, hopefully we could get 2 1/2 miles per year. We haven't gotten up to that expectation yet, and whether we will I'm not sure. Everywhere we've been we've hit areas that are very difficult whether it's us doing the work or a contractor. We're all going to hit the same difficulties. But we made progress. We've covered over 150 leak areas in the 2 1/2 years, and it's going to take a long time but we knew that from the beginning it's going to take quite a few years to do this."

PREVIOUS PIPELINE REPLACEMENTS: "Those were installed about 7-8 years ago, Corral Drive and Big River pipelines. They overlaid the road at that time, too, in those areas. (Those won't need replacing) We inspected those lines when they were installed. The real problem we have is they may be undersized because we're sizing everything to provide a certain fire(fighting) flow."



About the project

Operation Self Sufficiency is a 20-year Master Plan for Yosemite Lakes Park that has two chief objectives: (1) to replace a badly deteriorating and leaking municipal water distribution system, and (2) resurface all 55 miles of YLP roads in the wake of the water system rebuild.

The Yosemite Lakes Owners Association Board of Directors in May 2015 approved the plan, making numerous budget cuts and increasing assessments $15.35 a month to raise $13.1 million for a project that will be done by YLOA's own pipeline replacement crew overseen by Yosemite Spring Park Utility Co. A separate (Operation Self Sufficiency) crew was assembled comprising both YLOA & YSPUC employees with supervision by YLOA.

This page will provide and archive information about Operation Self Sufficiency going forward. YLOA members are encouraged to comment, ask questions and provide suggestions by emailing us here.

Crews make test run of new trench paving equipment.
• First residential hookups made on Long Hollow Drive in January 2016.
Fresno Bee story from July 5, 2015: "Yosemite Lakes Park residents fight water woes on their own."

2015 photo gallery

The Pipeline Challenge

Want to shorten the time it takes to replace our decaying, leaking water pipeline? The Operation Self Sufficiency project as launched will take 20 years.

Then join YLP's Pipeline Challenge! For a $200 donation, you can pay for one of the 200-plus pipes it'll take for every mile of the system. In return, YSPUC Manager Ken Harrington said your name will be written on the pipe and you'll get its GPS coordinates so you'll know where it lays.

Just drop off your donation at the YSPUC or YLOA front desks in the Clubhouse during regular business hours. Be sure to include your name and lot number.

The challenge was started when members of the Rippits Quilting Club asked Harrington if there was a way to make the pipeline project go quicker.

Darrel and Patty Dietrich gave the first $200, followed by Hal and Diane Browder, Bev and Jim Gulley, Steve and Rebecca Brannon, Ken and Roxie Harrington, Veronica Longcor, and Charles and Victoria Woods.

Harrington said donations of any amount will be accepted, and they all will be kept track of separately.


YSPUC crews on July 29 put the new trench compactor through its paces in a practice trench. It's operated by remote control.

The 35-ton Vermeer trencher gets its first tryout digging a practice trench on a patch of YLP-owned land.