Version Date: January 11, 2016
Why does the TCPUD need a drinking water treatment plant on the West Shore?
There are two primary reasons why a drinking water treatment plant is needed for the McKinney Quail water system region
- Water Supply: The current well serving the McKinney Quail water system does not have adequate supply. TCPUD has attempted two other wells which have had water quality issues. Due to these failed attempts at ground water, TCPUD constructed a “temporary” treatment plant that could supplement the well. Long term, the Lake is a more reliable source of water than ground water.
- Water Quality: The current well is producing corrosive water; the State has mandated additional lead and copper testing. The results were barely acceptable and conditions are expected to worsen.
Why isn’t the existing treatment plant adequate?
- Due to its outside location and equipment, it cannot be used in winter. We have to rely only on the well during the winter. If the well experiences either mechanical or physical problems, or further decline in quantity or quality we could have water outages or a need for rationing.
- The existing site is not large enough for the structure needed to enclose the treatment facilities.
- The existing plant does not have enough capacity if other neighboring water systems need supplemental or backup supply.
How much drinking water will the new treatment plant produce?
The proposed water treatment plant is designed to supply a maximum of 650 gallons per minute (gpm) with the ability to expand to 1,000 gpm in the future. The plant will be a sufficient size to:
- Provide ample capacity for the TCPUD’s existing McKinney Quail Water System (Chambers Landing, Chamberlands, McKinney Shores).
- Provide a backup or supplemental water source to some or all of the following water systems: Madden Creek Water Company, Tahoe Cedars Water Company, Tahoe Pines/Tahoe Swiss Village Water Company, Skyland/Nielsen Water Company, and Timberland Water Company.
Why build a plant with more capacity than required for the TCPUD’s McKinney-Quail Water System?
Prudent water system planning for a facility with this life-span and cost requires that the TCPUD consider the water supply landscape in the area for the long term (50+ years). As such, and consistent with TCPUD Board policy, the TCPUD is building a water supply capable of:
- Meeting the immediate needs of the McKinney-Quail Water System;
- Serving our neighboring water systems (whose customers are also TCPUD tax payers) with backup or supplemental water supply;
- Protecting the water supply from future drought and/or climate change impacts to groundwater resources;
- Being funded by outside agencies, making it more cost effective to rate payers;
Is this plant being built because of the Homewood Mountain Resort development project?
No, this facility is needed to provide a reliable and safe water source for the McKinney/Quail water system regardless of any new development at Homewood.
Will the plant provide water to the Homewood Mountain Resort development?
The plant is being sized to service the Homewood project, should it occur, because it will be located within the service boundaries of the TCPUD and the Madden Creek Water Company. Roughly 12% of the plant’s ultimate design capacity is related to the Homewood project. However, because the treatment process is not directly scalable, the footprint of the facility would remain the same even without the Homewood project.
Where is the proposed plant going to be built?
After review and evaluation of eight potential locations and based on the tremendous amount of public input as well as the environmental studies completed to date, TCPUD has identified the Lodge Drive location as the preferred water treatment plant site.
This site and the overall project has been evaluated in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This process allowed for significant public participation and comment on the project and the preferred project site. The final and adopted CEQA documents are available on the Environmental Review Page.
Why wasn’t the Homewood south base parking lot considered?
Homewood Mountain Resort’s approved master plan calls for future residential development, landscaping, and water quality improvements at both base areas with insufficient space for a water treatment plant on Homewood property.
What is the size of the new plant?
- The facility will be approximately the size of a newly constructed large Tahoe home.
- The height is planned at approximately 21 feet, lower than a two-story home.
What will it look like?
- We have had the architects develop several renderings for public consideration and input. (See project web site)
Will the operation of the plant differ from current operations at the temporary plant?
No, other than it will be indoors and operate year-round.
How much noise will the plant make?
The new plant will make far less noise than the existing temporary plant. The new plant will be enclosed and make less noise than traffic on Highway 89. The noise level should be unnoticeable.
Will there be significant lighting of the site?
No, there will be a few shielded entrance lights mounted to the building. There will be no pole-mounted area lighting required. The entrance lights may be on at a low-intensity during evening hours, and would only be activated at full intensity by motion-sensor or switch. The lighting will be shielded to minimize spill-over and glare.
Are there chemical or environmental hazards associated with the plant?
No. Similar to the existing plant, the predominant chemical on site will be chlorine. There will also be small amounts of other cleaning chemicals that are very common and all will be stored in secondary containment.
How are you going to pay for it? Will this increase my rates?
TCPUD water rates were developed to account and pay for the 5 year capital plan, including this project. The current approved rates, potential grant awards and property tax revenues will be sufficient. Additional revenue from customers will not be needed.
Are there any other benefits?
- Noise reduction and visual improvement at existing site (removal of temporary plant)
- Removal of concrete bunker on the public beach which will remove a hazard, provide for more beach property and access, recover the natural beach environment, and improve beach area access.
- Improved water for fire suppression for areas without adequate storage (Madden Creek Water Company, Tahoe Cedars Water Company, Tahoe Pines/Tahoe Swiss Village Water Company, Skyland/Nielsen Water Company, and Timberland Water Company)
- Possible small public parking lot and restrooms.
Where can I get more information?
The TCPUD has set up a project website containing detail project information with maps and exhibits. Type waterplant.tcpud.org into your browser address bar to get there.