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Tahoe City Public Utility District
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Who is my water provider?
There are several different water providers within the TCPUD service area. Please refer to the Water Service Area Map located in the maps link, on the General Information tab to determine who your water provider is.

Where does my water come from?
Currently, the majority of the water provided by the TCPUD comes from deep groundwater wells located in various locations in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Water for the McKinney/Quail water system is also supplemented in the summer months from a surface water treatment plant that treats water from Lake Tahoe.

Does the TCPUD add any chemicals to the water?
Yes, chlorine, in the form of 12.5% sodium hypochlorite (liquid bleach) is added to most TCPUD water sources. This is added to maintain a safety barrier for the customer in the unlikely event some type of pathogenic organism contamination occurs. Although the chlorine is often noticeable by taste and smell, we maintain very low chlorine residuals (0.2 to 0.3 parts per million) to provide an adequate safety barrier while minimizing the effect on the taste and odor of the water. Occasionally, higher levels of chlorine are required during system maintenance; however these levels should return to normal within 2-48 hours, and do not pose a health threat.


Does the TCPUD add flouride to my water?
Currently the TCPUD does NOT add flouride to its drinking water.

My water pressure is too low, can you increase it?
The TCPUD water system pressure is based on elevation change between the water storage tank and the point of delivery. In some instances, homes with an elevation close to that of the tank (within 80 feet) will have a normal pressure of 35 psi or less, with even less pressure in upper level facilities. This is normal and for the most part can't be improved. In some cases, customers have installed small booster pumps in their home to increase the operating pressure. If your pressure has decreased over time and you suspect a problem please call the TCPUD for assistance.

How do I winterize the water system in my house?
The most convenient and popular way to winterize your home is by the customer installing a stop and drain valve in a location accessible year round. This valve allows the customer to conveniently shut off their water, and when closed allows the internal house piping to drain out, preventing freezing pipes in cold temperatures. In addition it provides the customer an easy location to shut off their water for repairs to their plumbing, without having to call out the TCPUD for a water turn off/on, which has a service charge minimum of $35.00. Running bleeders to prevent frozen pipes is NOT an acceptable practice, and is an enforceable violation of the TCPUD Ordinance No. 263. Contact a local plumber for more information on stop and drain valves.

If you plan to install a stop and drain valve, it must be done correctly to ensure the drinking water won't become potentially contaminated. Contact the Compliance Services Division at (530) 580-6281 for more information and assistance.

Where is my water meter/shutoff box located?
The location of the customer's water meter/shutoff box varies, but is typically located at one of the front property corners. Many areas in the Highlands subdivision have their water meter/shutoff box located behind their homes within well-defined public utility easements.

How can I locate my water service box in the winter time?
We recommend that you stake or place a snow pole by your box with a blue mark or blue tape on the top of the pole. A good way to do this is place the pole out when you snow pole your driveway.

Who is responsible for locating and maintaining my water meter/shutoff box and the water line from the box to the house?
The customer is responsible for locating and maintaining the water meter/shutoff box and the water line from the box to the house. The TCPUD may, at the request of the customer, field locate water lines and facilities if TCPUD personnel and equipment are available. The customer shall reimburse the District a standard service charge plus any additional charges for this request. When the District record drawings do not show locations for water services, the District will locate and identify services, including field locations, at no expense to the customer.

What is the TCPUD responsible for?
The TCPUD is responsible for maintenance and repair of all water mains and service extentions. The service extentions begin at the distribution main and end at the curb stop or valve located on the street or easement side of the service box.

What does the TCPUD do to ensure that my drinking water is safe?
All of the TCPUD water sources and distribution systems are operated in compliance with the California Safe Drinking Water Act. These regulations provide all guidelines to ensure the customer receives water that is safe and pleasant for consumption. These regulations include a water quality monitoring schedule which requires the TCPUD to perform periodic sampling of the water to ensure its safety and quality. Results of this sampling are provided to the customer on an annual basis in a report known as the Consumer Confidence Report. The current version of this report is located online at For more specific questions please contact the TCPUD.

Where does the sewer flow from my house end up?
Sewage collected from the North and West shores of Lake Tahoe converges in Tahoe City and flows in a 36" pipe along the Truckee River corridor to the Tahoe-Truckee Sanitation Agency (TTSA) wastewater treatment plant located on the eastern side of Truckee.

Why do I get two sewer bills?
You are billed by the TCPUD for sewer collection costs, and by TTSA for sewer treatment costs separately.

My sewer backed up, and the plumber who came out and cleared it said I have roots in my line. What can I do about that?
It is important to ask the plumber to inform you of approximately where the root blockage was. If the blockage occured on the house sewer service line between the property line and the home, it is the customer's responsibility to repair. If the blockage appears to be between the property line and the street, please notify the TCPUD and we will investigate if repairs are necessary.

Where are my sewer cleanouts located?
Typically, there are a minimum of two cleanouts. One is located within 5 feet of the property line, and the other within 5 feet of the building foundation. Maintenance of, and keeping cleanout boxes exposed is the customer's responsibility. It is a good idea to snow stake your cleanouts in the winter time and make sure the boxes are exposed and visible in the spring. If you have trouble locating your cleanouts, the TCPUD may be able to provide you with a map which may assist you.

I have a sewer easement on my property, what does this mean?
Sewer line easements allow the TCPUD to operate and maintain sewer facilities on property other than State or County right of ways. This easement area is to remain free from the erection or placement of any structures such as fences, outbuildings and decorative rocks. In addition, landscaping in these areas is hightly discouraged. The TCPUD will not be responsible for damage to any structures or landscaping which are located within the easement boundaries, should access for operation, maintenance or repair be required.




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