Beaches remain closed |

Beaches remain closed

Tribune News Service

KINGS BEACH – Water quality test results failed to show improvement and therefore five public beaches here will remain closed following the July 19 sewage spill that dumped at least 120,000 gallons of raw sewage into Lake Tahoe, Placer County health officials said Wednesday.

Officials of various agencies have said their first concern is the health of the public and to get the beaches open, but an investigation has begun as to what led to the construction mishap.

“The investigation will be extensive,” said Julie Regan, communications director for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. “It will definitely take time. It’s a serious situation and we want to make sure the investigation is thorough.”

Regan said TRPA is working “hand in hand” with the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board.

The spill occurred when construction crews installing a pier for two private beachfront property owners punctured a 14-inch sewer main line.

The pier being built was to be shared by property owners Geoff and Christie Davis and Hans and Margaret Coffeng. Leah Kauffman, a land use planner, consulted on the project for five years and submitted applications to the TRPA, Lahontan, the California Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. Kauffman said a sewer line was not indicated on the application map or documents submitted to the various agencies because she did not know it existed.

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