West Lake Tahoe Regional Water Treatment Plant
Project Purpose, Need, and Description
Water service along the West Shore of Lake Tahoe suffers from an inefficient, disjointed delivery system. There are fourteen separate water systems, under different ownerships, between Sunnyside and Emerald Bay. These fourteen systems serve approximately 4,700 water service connections. Each system utilizes different groundwater sources, creating inefficient and expensive redundancies. Most are more than 40 years old. Many of these water systems lack permitted backup water supplies and/or have primary drinking water quality compliance issues as regulated by the State of California State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water (DDW).
The TCPUD’s McKinney Quail Water Service Area (MQWSA) is one of these water systems. The MQWSA is an isolated sub-system of the TCPUD, located between Homewood and Tahoma. The system extends roughly from Moana Circle in the south to Tahoe Ski Bowl Way in the north and includes the Tahoma Meadows neighborhood. The MQWSA is a combination of several separate small water systems built by various private developers and taken over by TCPUD over the last 40 years. It serves 559 water service connections and has, historically, experienced a number of water supply and water quality deficiencies or concerns. The MQWSA is currently in compliance with DDW primary and secondary source of supply and drinking water quality standards. However, this compliance is of significant concern given the age, condition, and configuration of the system’s water supply sources.
The TCPUD is undertaking the construction of the West Lake Tahoe Regional Water Treatment Plant (WLTRWTP) to address water supply and quality concerns identified for the MQWSA and to provide the foundation for a coordinated and regional drinking water supply solution for a portion of the west shore area of Lake Tahoe. Utilizing Lake Tahoe as the water source, the WLTRWTP will provide a permanent, safe, all-season, reliable, and drought-resistant drinking water supply to the MQWS and, potentially, other water systems within the region.
The proposed WLTRWTP would utilize a membrane filtration process, ultraviolet (UV) disinfection, and post-chlorination disinfection for treatment and distribution of potable water. This treatment technology is considered the most consistent in meeting State DDW potable water requirements.
Water treatment plants using water from Lake Tahoe are commonplace. There are 11 such plants already using several different treatment technologies and vary significantly in size and design. A map with information regarding each of these existing plants can be found here: Lake Tahoe WTPs.
For this project, TCPUD evaluated numerous potential water treatment plant locations, evaluated and ranked the eight (6 originally + 2 added by public request) with highest potential, then narrowed the focus to three final potential water treatment plant locations. After assessing all of the public feedback and reviewing the environmental studies, the District identified the Lodge Drive site as the preferred water treatment plant location. Please review the Site Selection page of this website for information on how sites were selected and evaluated and to view preliminary site plans.
The WLTRWTP project will include the removal of the TCPUD’s existing interim surface water treatment plant, which is located on TCPUD property adjacent to the Chambers Landing Beach public access route. The exhibit here shows before and after plans and views associated with this removal. Additionally, the existing large concrete vault located on Chambers Landing Beach will be removed. The exhibit here shows the before and after condition associated with this removal.
A full project description can be accessed in the Final Initial Study here: Final Initial Study for the WLTRWTP