New Regional Water Treatment Plant Secures Reliable Water Source for West Lake Tahoe Communities
The Tahoe City Public Utility District (TCPUD) broke ground on its West Lake Tahoe Regional Water Treatment Plant (Project) in spring 2021. Scheduled to be completed in 2024, the Project represents a coordinated regional solution for drinking water and fire protection by providing a permanent, drought-resistant, safe drinking water source for TCPUD water service areas located in the West Lake Tahoe region.
Once operational, the new treatment plant will use Lake Tahoe surface water as its source, producing up to 650 gallons per minute (gpm) to supply water to approximately 1,900 TCPUD connections. The Project is designed to expand capacity to a maximum of 1,100 gpm. This foresight in design sets the foundation for it to be a backup source for customers currently served by independent and private water providers within the TCPUD service area and makes it possible to deliver quality drinking water to other current TCPUD water customers and potential future TCPUD water customers.
Preliminary design for this landmark project began in January 2013 after decades of exploratory efforts to find a reliable groundwater source were unsuccessful. The Project secures a reliable surface water source capable of meeting peak summer demand water supply and will replace an Interim Water Treatment Plant constructed by TCPUD in 2004. The interim plant produces 300 gpm and is only operable between May and October of each year.
“This Project reflects a substantial and dedicated commitment by the TCPUD Board of Directors and staff to find the best permanent water supply solution for our customers along Lake Tahoe’s west shore,” TCPUD Board President John Pang said. “It will provide safe and reliable drinking water for our customers, especially in peak summer months, and will significantly improve water supply for firefighting and help protect our community against wildfire.”
The Project includes demolishing the existing lake intake pump station and interim water treatment plant and installing new submersible pumps in Lake Tahoe with 1,250 linear feet of a new raw waterline intake pipe from the lake to the newly constructed treatment plant facility. Additional features include a multi-barrier filtration and disinfection process that utilizes microfiltration and a combination of ultra-violet light and free chlorine for disinfection. The treatment process will ensure the water supply will meet California State Water Resource Control Board, Division of Drinking Water (DDW) drinking water standards.
The Project will cost approximately $20 million to construct and represents one of the most significant infrastructure investments made by the TCPUD Board of Directors. The District has secured $6,250,000 in grant funding from California Department of Water Resources, Placer County Water Agency, and El Dorado Water Agency. The remaining Project costs are financed through the California State Water Resources Control Board’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.
The TCPUD celebrated the construction of this Project with ACWA’s Executive Director Dave Eggerton and representative Jennifer Rotz during a site tour in June 2022, which highlighted the complex features of the Project within the unique and sensitive environment of Lake Tahoe.
For information about the Project, please visit www.tcpud.org/watertreatmentplant.
(Photo) TCPUD Site Tour with ACWA Representatives (L to R): TCPUD Assistant General Manager and District Engineer Matt Homolka, ACWA Executive Director Dave Eggerton, TCPUD Director of Utilities Tony Laliotis, TCPUD Board President John Pang, ACWA Representative Jennifer Rotz, TCPUD General Manager Sean Barclay.