Pumping Plant 3 is located along the Sacramento River on Garden Highway between Elkhorn Boulevard and San Juan Road.
Plant 3 was constructed in 1939 in response to the flood of 1938 which pushed to the limits the capacity of RD1000’s flood infrastructure at that time. Heavy rains and runoff caused seepage throughout the District and the operating plants at that time (Plant 1A and Plant 2) were at capacity even with 24-hour operation.
In 2001, Pumping Plant 3 underwent additional major modifications to increase runoff capacity. Major flood events in 1955, 1996, and 2007 and increasing urbanization in Natomas highlighted the District’s need to improve flood infrastructure throughout the Basin.
In 2014, the Natomas Levee Improvement Project (NLIP) was authorized by Congress which included plans to reconstruct Plant 3. In the Fall of 2021, Plant 3 was under major reconstruction with the goal to be fully operational again by March 2022.
Plant 3 became provisionally operational as of December 2022 and fully operational as of the Spring of 2023.