Swan and Silver Lake Water Monitoring

Washoe County understands that it is important to continue to monitor water levels within our closed basins as a component of our commitment to residents.  Swan Lake, located north of Reno in Lemmon Valley, is the lowest place within the Lemmon Valley "closed basin," meaning precipitation and snowmelt move to the lake during winter and storm events. Washoe County monitors the basin for flood events typically associated with seasonal atmospheric storms. The City of Reno offers a similar webcam on Silver Lake

Washoe County LakeCam in Lemmon Valley is a live, real-time look at Swan Lake water levels


Swan Lake lake elevation is 4921.55 feet as of 5/13/2024, which is 1.95 feet below the highest peak in 2019.


Swan Lake Real-Time Tracking

Washoe County Engineering monitors lake elevations and take regular measurements, review weather forecasts and precipitation patterns, perform field inspections of the stormwater infrastructure (drainage channels, cross pipes, roadside ditches, etc.) and are prepared to respond should we see rapidly rising lake levels and flooding.  The linked Swan Lake Elevations data is used by the Washoe County team to assess necessary operation changes to protect public safety. 

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Silver Lake Monitoring

Silver Lake Monitoring

The City of Reno offers live lake monitoring webcam, data and storm preparation information on Silver Lake Reno monitoring webpages.

Latest Public Information

Our Engineering and Roads teams work closely with public communication to share the latest storm information, local response and local protection measures. Visit our Washoe Life page for recent updates or sign up to receive information in your email box. Learn More »

What to expect as water levels change? 

Washoe County is prepared for increased water levels within Swan Lake, in the Lemmon Valley basin. Increased elevation of Swan Lake is the trigger for additional operations, public safety and protection measures. Please view our monitoring page for standard operation changes and updates on operation changes. 


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Preliminary Reports of PFAS in Swan Lake

Preliminary Reports of PFAS in Swan Lake

Swan Lake is not a source of drinking water in Washoe County. For information about drinking water sources, please visit the Truckee Meadows Water Authority website.  

In March 2023, Washoe County was made aware of a water sample taken in August 2021 that presented an elevated level of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are a large group of manufactured chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products for more than 70 years. They are present in nearly everything that has a waterproof or nonstick quality to it, such as waterproof makeup, boot protectant, fire retardant, nonstick cookware, and food packaging.  

PFAS are not known to present an immediate health risk, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), however long-term exposure may present various health risks. 

A trace amount of these chemicals is to be expected in closed-basin waterways such as Swan Lake. However, Washoe County is conducting testing to validate and further understand the single sample from 2021. Future data collections will be processed by a Nevada Department of Environmental Protection certified lab.  

For more about PFAS, visit www.SmartAboutWater.com