Town Approves Water Treatment Plant at Donner Lake | SierraSun.com
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Town Approves Water Treatment Plant at Donner Lake

DARIN OLDE, Sierra Sun

The Planning Commission approved the final environmental assessment of the proposed water treatment plant at Donner Lake Wednesday, July 12. Approval was required by the commission before the Town of Truckee can permit construction of the proposed $3.7 million treatment plant.

The commission set July 24 as the deadline to appeal the land use permit. No appeal has been filed at press time.

“An appeal is possible,” said Town Planner Duane Hall. “Donner Lake Village expressed opposition to the town’s decision in the meeting last Wednesday… so the ball is in their court.”

Donner Lake Village opposed the condemnation process raised by Donner Lake Water Co. on Jan. 5 over an easement that would traverse Village property. The condemnation procedure is the only obstacle delaying construction of the proposed treatment plant.

Following the meetings last week, town officials organized a private meeting with representatives of local, county, and state agencies to develop and coordinate solutions facing Donner Lake residents.

According to a report released by organizers of the meeting, the focus of the discussion was on short-term issues, including water availability and purity of the drinking water.

The end result of the meeting was the proposal, assignment, and development of five action plans:

– Address critical health and safety issues. Tahoe Forest Hospital and NCDEH will communicate with medical officials the procedures for reporting gastrointestinal complaints, and tracking their frequency and severity.

– Provide an easily accessible, no-cost supply of pure water to Donner Lake residents while the boil water order is in effect.

– Improve water purity over the short term, with eventual removal of the boil water order. The primary reason for the boil water order was the frequency of system depressurization, which significantly increases the chance of siphoning bacteria and other contaminants back into the water system through leaky pipes.

– Improve the feasibility of pipeline replacement and water treatment plant approval. CDHS and the utilities commission will work with Donner Lake Water Co. on a State Revolving Fund project to provide filtration of the Lake water. This would allow pipeline replacement on a separate, short term timetable.

– To understand the regulatory levers and mechanisms. The Town and Nevada County will investigate emergency funding from state or federal sources.

The group may be forming a committee of interested citizens to provide public input. Those interested in should send an e-mail to the town manager, Steve Wright, at truckee@sierra.net.


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