Senator works on Donner Lake water crisis

TRUCKEE - A session to discuss Donner Lake's water crisis has been organized by California state Sen. Tim Leslie for Monday.

With an appeal filed last week by Donner Lake Village over the proposed water treatment plant location, Sen. Leslie has organized a public meeting

"Representatives from the senator's office are going to be there," said Truckee Mayor Maia Schneider, "and a representative from the state Revolving Funds management office will also be present."

On July 14, representatives from the Town of Truckee, Tahoe Forest Hospital, Donner Lake Water Co., and officials from state health and service agencies met in a private meeting to assign short term goals and action plans. The goals were to improve water purity at Donner Lake over the short term, to investigate replacing the distribution system as a separate project from the water treatment plant, to address critical health and safety issues, and to increase communication between the water company, Donner residents and the regulatory agencies.

"Part of the meeting on Monday will address the results of the action plans that were introduced in the July 14 meeting," said Rob Eskridge, a Tahoe Forest Hospital board member.

"There were a number of strategies put forth in the meeting last week," said Schneider. "But the meeting on Monday will address whether or not we can we provide new pipes. If there is one single issue out there it is the replacement of the pipe system."

The broken pipes and storage tanks at Donner Lake are the reason contaminants are entering the distribution system.

"The boil water issue has much more to do with water flow rather than the treatment facility," added Schneider. "Seapage and leakage can cause backfill when there isn't enough presure in the system. That increases the risk of bacteria entering the system, which results in the boil notice."

Cliff Sharpe, Chief of Northen California's Field Operations Branch of the State Department of Health Services, said that Donner Lake Water Co. submitted the preliminary application to enter the next funding cycle.

The SDHS, the State Public Utilities Commission, and Donner Lake Water Co. have been attempting to secure funding through a state revolving fund project to replace the distribution system.

If you go

What: Meeting on Donner Lake water crisis

Where: Tahoe-Truckee High School auditorium in Truckee

When: 6:30 p.m. Monday

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