Tahoe Keys working with primary well off-line

By Kathryn Reed

Tahoe Keys property owners have been asked to scale back their water use while one of the wells is out of commission.

The motor on well No. 3 went out this month. It should be back in service soon, according to water officials. Pumps generally have a lifespan of seven years. This one has been in service since 1998.

This South Lake Tahoe neighborhood has its own water system that consists of three wells.

“In summer if it went down, we would have major issues and would probably have to borrow from (South Tahoe PUD),” Justin Phillips with the Tahoe Keys Water Department told Lake Tahoe News.

This is because so much more water is used in the summer. On an average summer day 1.6 million gallons of water is used in the Keys, which compares to 180,000 gallons in the winter. However, during holiday times like now, 350,000 gallons is the average.

Wells No. 1 and No. 2 also have issues. PCE or tetrachloroethylene has been detected in those wells. The chemical, which is common at dry cleaning plants, was first detected in South Lake Tahoe’s groundwater near the Y in 1989.

Carbon filters can reduce the level to non-detect. This is what the Keys is relying on to provide potable water to customers.