Tahoe Keys association working on water solutions

Laney Griffo
Tahoe Keys has been operating with limited water supply while the association looks for solutions.
Jonah M. Kessel / Tahoe Daily Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association is working on multiple solutions to the neighborhood water issues.

Last December, uranium was discovered in two of the communities’ wells and since then, the residents have had limited access to water.

A May 11 post from TKPOA, written by board member Keiron McCammon, “First, we are likely to be cited this week for the uranium levels on Well #3 and will have to shut it down. At that point, we will only have one operational well until we get the uranium treatment in place for wells #2 & #3, which is currently on schedule for the end of the month (fingers crossed we get the necessary State approvals).”

TKPOA has an inter-tie agreement with South Tahoe Public Utility District, however McCammon said in the post the inter-tie is “currently shut down until we install a backflow device.”

However, even if the inter-tie was operational, it wouldn’t be able to meet all of Tahoe Key’s water needs.

“The District doesn’t have the capacity to meet all of the Tahoe Keys summer water demands in that part of our system,” said Shelly Thomsen, public affairs and conservation manager for STPUD. “We are working collaboratively with the Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association and Lukins Brothers Water District to identify ways to provide water to the Tahoe Keys.”

TKPOA signed an agreement with Lukins and McCammon and said in the post that they should have an estimation for completion shortly.

“The Lukins inter-tie will allow them to supply us with [water] in situations where our internal supply is insufficient,” McCammon told the Tribune. “We don’t expect this to happen, but if it should and the water pressure drops on our side of things then the Lukins inter-tie will kick-in.

“We are still adding uranium treatment to two of our wells, the Lukins inter-tie is in addition to this and really more as a backup,” McCammon added.

In the meantime, landscape irrigation is prohibited until Nov. 1.

“Unfortunately, with one of our wells offline due to uranium and a second well likely to be cited shortly and taken off line we will be done to one well,” McCammon said. “The capacity of this well is insufficient to meet out historical water demand through the summer months due to irrigation, therefore to ensure that we do not outstrip our water capacity we have instituted an prohibition on irrigation until such time that we are able to restore sufficient water capacity.

“The uranium treatment we are installing will allow us to pump a limited amount from the two wells that have been impacted by uranium, so at least once this comes online at the end of this month or early next month we will be back to having three operational wells (albeit with more limited pumping capacity),” added McCammon. “With the addition of the Lukins inter-tie and some additional measures to allow us to better monitor our water demands we hope to be able to ease up on the prohibition and allow limited irrigation sometime in July, but this is far from guaranteed.”

In the meantime, TKPOA is working on a long-term facility plan.

“Unfortunately, any long-term solution is likely to take 2-plus years to complete, so our current short and intermediate-term actions are designed to bridge us through to this point,” McCammon said.

To read McCammon’s full post, visit

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