Nevada environmental agency finds no issues with Cave Rock water upgrade

Staff Report

ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. — The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection has found no problems with Douglas County’s plan to upgrade the public water system that serves the Cave Rock and Skyland area.

The NDEP issued a statement Monday that said it intends to issue a “Finding of No Significant Impact.”

The county is seeking $16.5 million from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to replace old drinking water pipelines within the existing easements (Hidden Woods and along Lincoln Highway), to repair the Lake Tahoe intake structure, and some work at the Cave Rock-Skyland water treatment plant facility.

The utility serves approximately 2,800 people located in and around the Cave Rock and Skyland communities along U.S. Highway 50, said a press release.

The district is eligible for partial principal forgiveness funding from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund as outlined in Nevada’s Intended Use Plan.

Consultation with appropriate cross-cutting agencies will be completed prior to signing a final commitment of financial assistance, said the release. No wetlands, floodplains, agricultural lands, or significant fish or wildlife species or habitats are affected by the project. A reasonable assurance exists that no national landmarks or properties with nationally significant historic, architectural, prehistoric, archeological, or cultural value are affected by the project. Best management practices will be utilized during construction.

The Cave Rock Water system is one of three private systems that service Douglas residents at Lake Tahoe. The Tahoe-Douglas Fire Protection District purchased the system to protect its water rights, the Tribune previously reported.

Douglas County commissioners in December approved selling $16.5 million in bonds financed by a loan from the state to complete $18 million in improvements to the Cave Rock system.

The project includes the replacement of 2.84 miles of water line, booster pump stations and installation of a redundant water treatment unit in the water treatment plant.

Cave Rock customers’ water comes from Lake Tahoe, and during severe drought years those intakes have come very close to rising above the surface. Work to extend those intakes will be included in the improvements.

Settlement of a federal lawsuit filed by Cave Rock customers two years ago resulted in the county consolidating all of its water systems.

Residents accused the county of charging them for work on the neighboring Uppaway system, without charging other county water users.

The county’s nine water systems are scattered across its jurisdiction. There is no plan to connect the three water systems at the lake with those in Carson Valley.

For more information, or to comment, email Sharada Maligireddy at or send a letter no later than April 16 to Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, Office of Financial Assistance, 901 South Stewart Street, Suite 4001, Carson City, NV 89701-5249.

A link to NDEP’s public notices can be found at:

Source: Nevada Department of Environmental Protection

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