South Tahoe PUD to consider 9.5% rate hike for water, sewer |

South Tahoe PUD to consider 9.5% rate hike for water, sewer

An example of an aging, burst pipe in the Rocky Point neighborhood.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Facing aging water and sewer systems, the South Tahoe Public Utility District Board of Directors will consider raising rates.

The board will considering new rates for the 2024 fiscal year that sets the district on the path to installing $218 million in water and sewer infrastructure improvements over the next 10 years through the Capital Improvement Program. Most of the water and sewer systems were installed in the 1960s and 70s with some water mains even older, according to the district website.

The board on May 18 will consider raising rates approximately 9.5%, which would raise the monthly cost for a typical residential customer $4.56 for sewer and $6.19 for water. 

The monthly cost currently is $48.03 for sewer (based on three sewer units) and $65.11 for water (based on 6,485 gallons per month).

“The district’s complex water, sewer, and recycled water systems need ongoing maintenance, replacement and improvements,” said General Manager John Thiel in a press release. “The proposed rate increases would continue to fund the water and sewer pipeline replacement program and help keep up with escalating power, chemical, and construction costs.”

The district is a public agency that supplies water for drinking and fire suppression, and provides sewage collection, treatment, and export to protect Lake Tahoe’s delicate ecosystem. Increases to the rates are being proposed to repair and replace 50-90 year old water and sewer systems. 

If approved, the new water and sewer rates would go into effect July 1.

“If the new rates are approved, our combined water and sewer rates will be 30% lower than the regional average,” Thiel said. “By investing in our system today, we will lower long-term costs, help prevent expensive emergencies, protect the environment, and ensure long-term, quality service.”

According to the district website, to comply with state law, over the past 10-plus years the district has focused its water system spending on installing water meters rather than replacing undersized and leaking watermains. The Capital Improvement Program will fund 15,000 feet of water main replacement per year, getting us closer to our annual goal of 22,500 feet per year. Replacing watermains prevents leaks, provides increased fire flows, and improves water quality. 

The board will vote on rates at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 18, at South Tahoe Public Utility District’s Board Room, located at 1275 Meadow Crest Drive. 

For more information, visit

Proposed sewer rates.
Proposed water rates

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.