The South Tahoe Public Utility District, a public agency established on September 28, 1950, (pursuant to Section 9 of "The Public Utility District Act") supplies drinking water and provides sewage collection, treatment, and export to protect Tahoe's delicate ecosystem. Managing this complex operation requires an uncommon environmental sensitivity.

Our Vision

Maintain a dynamic organization that can quickly and proactively meet an ever increasing environment of regulations and scarce resources.

Our Mission

Furnish our customers with reliable water and wastewater services, and provide those services safely, efficiently, and cost effectively.

Strategic Goals

  • Provide exemplary customer service.
  • Provide reliable and safe water distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, and recycled water land application systems.
  • Foster a culture of efficient water use in our community, and promote public awareness of all District activities and the value of District services.
  • Develop staff to ensure professionalism and continuity of organizational knowledge.
  • Continue to be outstanding financial stewards.
  • Provide a safe and harmonious work environment for our employees.
  • Maximize appropriate use of technology to improve operational efficiency and prioritize asset replacement.

A Short History of the District

From 1951 until 1960 the District's facilities consisted of essentially two septic tanks. In 1960 a 2.5 million gallon per day (MGD) activated sludge plant was constructed.

In 1963 a study of the possible treatment methods to treat and dispose of sewage was undertaken by the Corvallis, OR. engineering firm of CH2M Hill under the direction of Russell Culp. At the time of this study treated wastewater was land applied near the plant. Upon passage of the Porter-Cologne Act, all wastewater was required to be treated and exported from the Tahoe Basin. Small scale tests were begun to determine if a treatment process that had never been applied to municipal wastewater could provide a treated water quality adequate to support a recreational reservoir in Alpine county. The tests were successful and the full scale, 2.5 MGD tertiary water reclamation plant was placed into service in 1965.

During this period of operation the District hosted many international visitors who came to observe and learn state-of-the-art wastewater reclamation. The technology Mr. Culp created at STPUD has been used throughout the world.

The plant was expanded to 7.5 MGD and the 27 mile export line placed into service in 1968.

The "Head Start" program in 1980 included emergency wet weather pumping improvements. In 1985 "Contract 1" began the modifications to advanced secondary operation. In 1989 the plant was expanded to 7.7 MGD, the Harvey Place Dam was completed and the advanced secondary operation started. No major plant expansions have occurred since 1989.

General Manager:

John Thiel

Assistant General Manager:

Shannon Cotulla

Chief Financial Officer:

Paul Hughes