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Final piece of Cave Rock water work to happen this year

Kurt Hildebrand
Record Courier

ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. — Work on the third and most expensive part of the Cave Rock Water System is scheduled to begin this construction season at Lake Tahoe.

Under a construction manager at risk contract, the replacement will cost the county $7.269 million to serve Lakeridge, Hidden Woods and the U.S. Highway 50 frontage, bringing the total work on the water system to $20.2 million

Most of the $21.1 million work is funded through a state drinking water revolving loan of $16.25 million with another $4.1 million coming from capital reserves. The U.S. Forest Service ponied up $500,000 for the work while $250,000 from the revolving fund’s principal forgiveness rounded out the funding.



Douglas County commissioners are scheduled to discuss the project at their meeting on Thursday. Commissioners meet in the historic Minden courthouse, 1616 Eighth St.

The county has a balance of $8.25 million to complete the project, which will be sufficient to cover Thursday’s action.



Sierra Nevada Construction will be serving as the construction manager.

The entire project includes the installation of nearly 15,000 feet of waterline, of which 11,500 was installed during 2020 and 2021 phases.

It has been 30 years since Douglas County took over the three Tahoe water systems from private operators, who were overwhelmed by the cost of implementing treatment plants required by then-new environmental regulations.

In addition to roughly 3,500 feet of water line, work on the project includes upgrades to the intake from Lake Tahoe and the water treatment plant serving around 2,800 people in and around Cave Rock and Skyland.

Customers of the water system pay a $20 surcharge to help fund the improvements.

The county operates nine water systems scattered across its jurisdiction. No proposal has been floated to connect the three Tahoe water systems in Carson Valley.

Most county residents receive their drinking water from a purveyor independent of the county, like one of the general improvement districts, the Gardnerville Water Co. or the Town of Minden. Even those East Valley residents being served by the county actually receive their water from the Town of Minden.


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