Tahoe Cedars Water System Reconstruction Project

Updated: 5/31/2024

Project Overview

In January 2018, TCPUD acquired the Mid-Sierra Water Utility (Tahoe Cedars and Madden Creek water systems) and began operating both systems. In March 2021, the TCPUD Board of Directors adopted a comprehensive Tahoe Cedars Water System Master Plan, which recommended the full replacement of the existing system, which was originally constructed in the 1940s and is actively failing. Following a series of long-term financial planning sessions, the Board directed staff to proceed with design and permitting, development of project implementation plans, and financing plans for the full reconstruction of the Tahoe Cedars water system.

Fully reconstructing the Tahoe Cedars water system is a unique undertaking for TCPUD. It is significantly larger, more complicated, and more expensive than any previous TCPUD water system reconstruction project and is currently estimated to cost $37 million (does not include costs of private service relocation from backyards to the street). Funding sources for this project will include water rates, property tax revenue, the Infrastructure Improvement Charge, and potential grants. 

Planned improvements:

  • Replace 15 miles of undersized and failing water mains.
  • Relocate 632 water service lines from backyards to the street.
  • Install 97 new fire hydrants.
  • Install over 1,000 residential water meters.

Project benefits include the delivery of secure and reliable drinking water and improved fire protection within the water system service area.

Project Status

The TCPUD continues to move forward with this complex project that will involve multiple construction phases spanning over 7-10 years. To streamline design and construction of this project, TCPUD will use a Design-Build approach called Progressive Design Build. This will allow TCPUD to simplify the contracting process and work collaboratively with the design-builder to meet the project goals with cost and time efficiency.

In April 2024, TCPUD began the Design-Build procurement process with the release of a Request for Qualifications to create a short-list of experienced design-builders for the project’s design and construction. A Request for Proposals will be issued to the short-list in July or August 2024, with selection of a design-builder anticipated before the end of the year. TCPUD hopes to begin construction in 2025. The location for the first phase of construction is yet to be determined.

Private Service Relocation

In portions of the Tahoe Cedars water service area, the existing water mains are located in backyard alignments outside of the public right of ways (‘back of lots’). System reconstruction will include abandoning these water mains and installing new water mains in the street. Where this occurs, a property’s private water service connection will need to be relocated from the back to the front of the property at the street.

TCPUD is working on a Private Service Relocation Policy to address properties that have the existing water main located in a backyard alignment outside of the public right of way. TCPUD will notify affected property owners when this policy is presented to the TCPUD Board of Directors, which is expected to occur sometime this summer.

Stay up to date on the Service Lateral Relocation FAQs:

Questions? Or to update your contact information: Please email info@tcpud.org or call 530-583-3796.

Completed Improvements

Replaced chronically failing water mains on 2nd Avenue. Installed an interconnection between the Tahoe Cedars water system and an adjacent TCPUD water system to provide critical backup water supply.