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Recycled Water Strategic Plan

The South Tahoe Public Utility District is developing a Recycled Water Strategic Plan to determine the most cost-effective, innovative, and environmentally conscious way to manage recycled water in the future.  This Plan will be developed over the next three years and involve opportunities for customers, agency partners, and the public to provide input. To receive email alerts on upcoming public meetings and project updates, send an email to recycledwater@stpud.us.


The District collects, treats, and recycles wastewater from the South Lake Tahoe region. An average of 3.9 million gallons per day of recycled water is pumped 26 miles to Alpine County. Recycled water is stored in Harvey Place Reservoir and released in summer months to be used by ranchers and the District for irrigation.

The District began exporting recycled water to Alpine County in 1967 to comply with state and federal laws such as the Porter-Cologne Act and Public law 96-551. This requirement is unique to the Tahoe region and requires an enormous amount of energy to pump recycled water over mountain passes.

In 1988 the District entered a 40 year agreement to supply recycled water to six ranchers in Alpine County. In 2018, the District began growing alfalfa with recycled water on its Diamond Valley Ranch. In addition to recycling 100% of its wastewater, the District recycles 100% of its biosolids as fertilizer for agricultural land with Bently Agrodynamics in Douglas County, Nevada. The District also annually produces 381,000kw in hydroelectricity as recycled water flows from the top of Luther Pass 2,200 feet down into Alpine County.

A Strategic Plan

There have been significant advances in and acceptances of water reuse over the last 50 years. As such, the District will be re-evaluating current operations and practices to identify the best ways to process and use recycled water in the future.

The District completed a Recycled Water Facilities Master Plan in 2009 which focused on maximizing the utility of our Alpine County facilities. The new Strategic Plan will look holistically to determine feasibility, innovation opportunities, hurdles, solutions, possibilities, and new technologies to treat and maximize the beneficial use of recycled water.

Recycled Water Facilities Master Plan (2009)


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Recycled water is pumped 26 miles, from South Tahoe PUD’s wastewater treatment to Harvey Place Reservoir in Alpine County.  Harnessing the water pressure from recycled water flowing from the top of Luther Pass down into Alpine County, the District produces 381,000kw of hydroelectricity.

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South Tahoe PUD owns and operates a 1,400 acre recycled water facility in Alpine County called Diamond Valley Ranch.

Plan Goals

Analyze and identify options to put recycled water to its highest end use, continue to protect our sensitive environment, and be cost-effective.

Educate, inform, and engage the public and a Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) to obtain input during the Recycled Water Strategic Plan developmental stages.  Invited stakeholders include:  Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, City of South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County, Lukins Brothers Water Company, Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association, Tahoe Water Suppliers Association, Douglas County Sanitary and Improvement District,  Incline Village General Improvement District, Alpine Watershed Group, League to Save Lake Tahoe, Sierra Nevada Alliance, Washoe Tribe, University of Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, California Tahoe Alliance, United States Forest Service, and Tahoe Resource Conservation District.

Keep public and SAG updated with factual and timely information on different alternatives and analyses.

Continue the District’s dedication to proactive planning, researching, and exploring better ways to deliver clean, reliable, cost-effective water, wastewater, and recycled water services.

Project Timeline


  • Request for Proposals Announced
  • Contract Awarded
  • Initial Planning


  • Stakeholder Advisory Committee formed
  • February 8 Public/SAG meeting
  • Regulatory and legal constraints analysis
  • Development of alternatives
  • September 28 SAG meeting



  • Launch Phase 2- Alternatives Evaluations


Public Meetings


For more information, email recycledwater@stpud.us or call 530-544-6474 x6202.