Water company issues warning to customers
Fire engines drawing 4,000 gallons at a time and the annual strain of the July 4 week have caused one of South Lake Tahoe’s water providers to impose temporary restrictions on its customers.
Signs from Lukin Brothers Water Company encouraging no outside water use and minimal inside water use started going up on trees near the “Y” and Camp Richardson on Friday. The signs warned of possible fines, water cut off or arrest if the restrictions were broken.
The water restrictions “will be in effect, probably until Friday,” according to Danielle Lukins, with Lukins Brothers Water Company. The restrictions could last until Monday, depending on the needs of fire-fighting efforts.
“Our water system has to keep up with demand. It’s not like we’re running out of water,” Lukins said on Monday. “We have enough water.”
Lukins recommended filling a container from inside the house and spot-watering plants in need of water during the restriction.
The company typically sees three times the usual water use during the Fourth of July holiday.
Dennis Cocking, spokesman for South Tahoe Public Utility District, said the water district was running at “well over” 59 million gallons per day at the peak of the fire, nearly reaching the district’s capacity.
Average winter use for the district is approximately 5 million gallons per day and typical summer use is about 11 million gallons a day, according to Cocking.
STPUD customers do not face the same restrictions as Lukin’s customers, but the district’s usual summer water conservation measures are in place.