Tahoe Keys association addresses uranium in water

Laney Griffo

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Wells shut down because of uranium contamination should be back online by watering season, according to the Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association.

Two of three wells in the Tahoe Keys were taken offline after trace amounts of uranium were found in December 2020.

The wells that were impacted are primarily used for lawn irrigation so drinking water was not impacted.

Still homeowners expressed concern about property values if they weren’t able to water their lawns this summer.

In response, the Tahoe Keys Water Company formed the Water Quality Long Range Planning Committee made up of several homeowners.

The water company also contracted MC Engineering to develop a long-term plan to fix the wells.

In the meantime, the TKPOA Board of Directors approved the purchase and installation of an interim treatment system, during an emergency meeting on March 11.

According to the April TKPOA monthly newsletter, the temporary fix will allow them “to recover 80% of the production from one well and 40% from the other.”

The system is scheduled to be installed in late April and early May which is prior to the watering season.

“The TKPOA has and will be adapting our architectural control rules for landscaping to have more water wise design guidelines,” said TKPOA General Manager Kirk Wooldridge in response to a question about the future of water use for lawns in the future.

In addition, South Tahoe Public Utility District encourages homeowners to go with natural landscaping.

“The Turf Buy Back rebates residential water customers to replace lawn with Tahoe-friendly native and adaptive vegetation,” said Shelly Thomsen, public affairs and conservation manager for STPUD. “The district rebates $1.50 per square foot up to $2,000; a pre-conservation site visit is required.”

The district also offers an irrigation equipment rebate, which helps customers upgrade their irrigation system to high water efficiency and a free water wise landscaping consultation.

Customers can learn more or sign-up at or calling 530-544-6474.

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