South Lake resort fined 10K for dumping pool water
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency handed down a $10,000 fine to a local resort company Wednesday for an incident involving dumped chlorinated pool water in a stream environment zone earlier this year.
Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort, a subsidiary of Diamond Resorts International, poured out the pool water near its property by Ski Run Marina on June 25. The discharge and failure to install best management practices without TRPA approval violated a variety of TRPA codes.
At the time, a water control engineer with the California Regional Water Quality Control Board said estimates circling the incident put the amount of water dumped around 15,000 to 20,000 gallons.
Several resort employees were fired for the illegal discharge, which was self-reported several days later.
“Upon investigation, staff learned that the Diamond Resorts staff emptied a portion of the pool water by draining it onto an area of the Diamond Resorts property, instead of the preferred method for pools on commercials properties of draining into the sanitary sewer,” according to a recent TRPA report.
“The pool water overflowed the area of the Diamond Resorts property and flowed into the neighboring stream environment zone property, causing a slight sediment discharge as well as the possibility of polluting the ground water with treated pool water.”
However, Diamond Resorts has since agreed to the $10,000 penalty and submitted “a new protocol” in regards to the draining of pool water at the resort, according to the TRPA.
The TRPA Governing Board chose to accept the agreement Wednesday.
Benjamin La Luzerne, in-house counsel for Diamond Resorts, said he felt the punishment was fair, given that it’s important to protect Lake Tahoe and that the TRPA acted within its authority.
“It was a learning experience,” he said, adding. “It’s not something we want to have happen again or anywhere else, so that’s why we made the changes.”