STPUD to study rate change |

STPUD to study rate change

The South Tahoe Public Utility District may soon be making changes to its system for determining sewer rates.

The utility district started a comprehensive sewer rate study last year. The purpose was to determine whether the various customer classifications – such as residential and commercial – were paying a fair share of the sewer costs. Another reason was to help the utility district plan for expenses in upcoming years.

Preliminary results of the sewer study show that some commercial customers may not be paying as much as they should be, said Diane Noble, STPUD customer service manager.

Also, it’s possible some residents have been slightly overpaying.

“On Thursday (at STPUD’s regular board meeting), we’re going to have discussions with the board to talk about some of the options available,” Noble said. “It will not be for action, but we’ll maybe talk about taking some baby steps toward more equity of classification.”

A public workshop is planned for April to discuss how to best fund the district’s sewer system in the future.

“April 12 will be a discussion with the full board. It will be a workshop kind of session,” Noble said. “The consultant (who did the study) will be there to bring the public up to speed on where we are on our rate study. The board is very interested in having our customers have plenty of input.”

STPUD provides sewer service to all of South Lake Tahoe and Meyers through 16,000 connections. With 420 miles of sewer lines, the system has the capacity to collect 7.7 million gallons of sewage a day. All of South Shore’s wastewater is shipped to STPUD’s wastewater treatment plant, where it is recycled and shipped out of the basin. Through a 26-mile-long pipeline, the recycled water is shipped to a reservoir in Alpine County, where the water is used to irrigate ranches.

Because recycled water is high in nutrients that may lead to algal growth in the lake, all of Tahoe’s sewer service providers are required by law to pump the water out of the basin. STPUD pumps it farther than any other basin utility.

Noble said the sewer rate study has identified that 30 percent of the district’s sewer costs are because STPUD has to pump the water out of the basin.

What: Meeting of South Tahoe Public Utility District Board of Directors

When: Thursday, 2 p.m.

Where: City Council Chambers, 1900 Lake Tahoe Blvd.

What: STPUD sewer rate study workshop

When: April 12, 7 to 9 p.m.

Where: El Dorado County Library

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