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Stormwater News Flash!

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Truckee Meadows Construction & Landscape Site BMP Trainings - held annually in the local area.

Next Classes: March 2019- registration includes a NV Construction Site BMP Field Guide! Construction Stormwater Training Flyer

Guidance manuals updated in 2015: Truckee Meadows Construction Site BMP Handbook and Truckee Meadows Structural Controls Design Manual. These manuals went through a public comment period and have been accepted by the Storm Water Committee and governing bodies. Find them here at the Guidance Manuals for industry & developers.

Public Art Fights Pollution!

This campaign marries form and function in protecting the Truckee River in our urban center. Think of storm drains, which collect all runoff from storm water to irrigation overflow, as mouths of the river. All urban gutter flows run into the storm drains and directly into the river or creek, without treatment. Bryce Chisolm and PAN Pantoja, local artists, kicked off this campaign with six paintings.

What is Happening in our Watershed?

McCarran Ranch Restoration project succeeds in wildlife return! March 2013 article,

The McKinley Arts & Cultural Center has built some water-savvy! This property now houses a new Low Impact Development (LID) demonstration project to recover and treat rainwater on-site:
*Truckee River Fund and NDEP provided funding for retrofits to the historic site which benefit the environment. Benefits of our new rain garden, and pervious concrete parking lot include rain capture and recharge and pollutant treatment using natural and cutting edge technology. For more information, watch these videos: City garden cuts pollutants to river, or City adds parking lot with benefits.

McKinley LID project takes the stage

"Project Lessons Learned and Post-Construction Realities" given by Lynell Garfield-Qualls at the 2012 APWA "Sustainability" conference at South Lake Tahoe.
"Avoiding Common Pitfalls of Green Infrastructure" on lessons learned in the McKinley Project, presented by Lynell Garfield-Qualls at the Nevada Landscapers Association conference on February 15, 2012.
"Incorporating LID into Historic Building Preservation in an Urban Setting", by Sue Donaldson, UNCE and Lynell Garfield.  Presented by Sue at the 2011 Philadelphia Low Impact Development conference on September 25-28, 2011.

Chalk Creek is a small creek in NW Reno that has transitioned from ephemeral, flowing only in response to rain or snow melt- to year-around, due to development. This waterway has garnered much study, monitoring and news over the last few years due to very high levels of pollutants Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS).  Our Truckee River is regulated for these chemicals, so investigating their source was priority.

For background, visit the YouTube spot on Chalk Creek, or learn how to protect our river and "Just Say No to Urban Slobber!" A full watershed characterization was completed by JBR Environmental with assistance from the Truckee River Fund. View results.

Our conclusion? Chalk Creek sits atop a geological formation which is loaded with salts and with our heavy outdoor use of water for green lawns, we are leaching salts out of the soils and transporting lawn care products into the creek effectively.

What is Reno doing to fix the problem? A Novel Solution: Since most of our TDS in Chalk Creek is present as sulfates, removing sulfates will lower TDS. The City of Reno borrowed from mining technology to design and install an experimental sulfate-reducing Wetland. View YouTube.

The best way you can help Chalk Creek? Reduce your outdoor watering times, outdoor water use, and use of fertilizers!  Prevent Urban Slobber.  For more information, please email

Truckee River Coordinated Monitoring Program

"Development of a Coordination Monitoring Program for the Truckee River."  Background: The 2009 Nevada State Legislature approved a resolution encouraging entities engaged in water quality management and monitoring of the Truckee River and its tributaries to work toward a comprehensive and coordinated watershed monitoring program.  After a lengthy process of sharing monitoring programs, data, sites, and other technical information by over 13 stakeholders, the Coordinated Monitoring Program "living" document has been published on the Truckee River Info Gateway at

Previously offered courses and presentations

  • 04/2015, 12/2014, 03/2014, 12/2013, 03/2013 Construction & Landscape Site Storm Water BMP Compliance.
  • 2012 Construction/ Landscape Site Storm water BMP Compliance, March 1 & 7 and October 2 & 3, 2012.
  • "Maintenance and Operations Requirements on the McKinley LID Demo project," January 2012. 
  • "Construction Site and Landscape Site Stormwater BMP Compliance," November 2011. Free.
  • "Construction Site BMP Compliance - Field Classes," UNCE, on May 4 and May 21, 2010. Free.
  • "Pervious Concrete workshop for Designers and Engineers" September 11, 2009 in coordination with ASCE and APWA.  "Pervious Concrete Technician Certification Course" June 24, 2009.
  • "Working in the River and Permitting Workshop," May 5, 2009 from 9-4 pm at Harrah's Reno. 
  • "Operation Desert Stormwater": In coordination with the UNR SEEDS Club, funded by the UNR Academy for the Environment, City of Reno presented two seminars on stormwater management and LID in Spring 2007.  Download here: What are the Truckee Meadows and UNR Doing to Protect the Truckee River?, and  Low Impact Development Practices and Benefits.

Click here to visit Truckee River Info Gateway

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