South Tahoe PUD to host virtual public meeting on the Recycled Water Strategic Plan

Staff Report

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – The South Tahoe Public Utility District is developing a Recycled Water Strategic Plan to identify and analyze options to determine the most cost-effective, innovative, and environmentally conscious way to manage recycled water in the future.

“The Recycled Water Strategic Plan is an exciting project to reimagine how we use our critical water resources,” said Steve Caswell, Principal Engineer in a press release. “It is important that the Plan reflects the values of our community and I encourage community members and partners to attend.”

The District collects, treats, and recycles wastewater from the South Lake Tahoe region. An average of 3.9 million gallons per day of recycled water is pumped 26 miles to Alpine County where it is stored in Harvey Place Reservoir and released in summer months to be used by ranchers and the District for irrigation.

In addition to recycling 100 percent of its wastewater, the District recycles 100 percent of its biosolids as fertilizer with Bently Agrodynamics in Douglas County, Nevada. The District also produces 381,000kW annually in hydroelectricity as recycled water flows from the top of Luther Pass 2,200 feet down into Alpine County.

“The District was the first wastewater treatment plant in the world to treat to a tertiary level back in the 1960s,” said Caswell. “This Recycled Water Strategic Plan could identify opportunities for the District to be at the forefront of recycled water in California once again.”

The District began exporting recycled water to Alpine County in 1967 to comply with state and federal laws. This requirement is unique to the Tahoe region and requires an enormous amount of energy to pump recycled water over a mountain pass. There have been significant advances

in and acceptances of water reuse over the last fifty years. As such, the development of the Recycled Water Strategic Plan will re-evaluate current operations and practices to identify the best ways to process and use recycled water in the future.

To learn more, attend the virtual public meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 8 from 4 – 5 p.m. For webinar details and login information, visit To listen, call (312) 757-3121, access code 155-212-781.


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