Boil water order lifted for TRE residents |

Boil water order lifted for TRE residents

Kurt Hildebrand

The Boil Water/Do Not Drink order in Topaz Ranch Estates was lifted Wednesday evening as residents were allowed to drink their own water for the first time since Monday.

The order was lifted after a second round of tests came back clear around 5 p.m. Wednesday.

General Improvement District Chairman Larry Offenstein said a previous test came back clean for any bacteria and he had expected the same result for today’s test.

“They’re doing 24-hour cultures, and they haven’t seen any growths,” he said. “First test came out absent and we expect the same thing today.”

Once the district receives the result from the lab, they’ll contact the state health department, who will left the do-not drink and boil water orders in place since Monday morning.

Offenstein said Reverse 911 called 386 Topaz Ranch Estates homes during the emergency, confirming that many residents didn’t receive a call from the system.

Resident Richard Crick said Tuesday that he hadn’t heard from anyone about the water.

“They didn’t tell us for two days, and then they changed it from boiling water to not drinking it at all,” he said.

Crick said his wife called Frontier on Monday to find out why they didn’t hear from Reverse 911.

The Arden Way resident said his wife was told by the phone company that they shouldn’t have to sign up for the program.

“We haven’t gotten a call and neither have a half-dozen of our neighbors,” he said. “Normally, I’m a pretty calm guy, but this is absolutely ridiculous. And if it wasn’t so ridiculous, I wouldn’t be so mad.”

Douglas County 911 Emergency Services Manager Ron Sagen said that information received from Frontier didn’t plot the addresses to the correct streets for several telephone numbers. That meant the computer didn’t know those addresses were located in Topaz Ranch Estates.

Sagen said he’s corrected those numbers for a handful of people who’ve notified him they didn’t receive a call.

He’s been working on fixing the missing addresses, but said they may have been that way for years.

Only Frontier customers with landlines are automatically on the system, which means anyone who receives their phone service from Charter, or another voice over Internet system must log into the county system and provide their phone number and address.

He said he’s working to get the issues from the water notification fixed, but that there may be people who are missed.

Volunteers are continuing to serve lunches to seniors at the Topaz Ranch Estates Community Center despite difficulties posed by a do-not drink order for the community’s water system.

Ronnie Park told a reporter on Tuesday that the water issue has made life more difficult for her and other volunteers.

“Ronnie and other senior center volunteers and staff are doing a great job with making the best of a very difficult situation for seniors,” Senior Services & Public Transit Manager Travis Lee said Wednesday. “I appreciate their hard work. I know that our seniors in TRE really depend upon these lunches and we are doing what ever we can to provide support.”

Lee said that lunches will be served on the regular schedule, and that they will be bringing down bottle water for seniors.

“We are planning on maintaining these services and bring our own water and bottled water for seniors that are participating in the TRE lunches. Seniors are encouraged to call Senior Services if they have other related issues that our programs like Meals on Wheels can help with.

Created Sept. 7, 1971, by Douglas County commissioners to deal with roads in the south county, the TRE district took over the water system from a private company in 1997.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User