Tahoe Water Quality Improvements

In a continuing effort to reduce sediment and nutrient loads in stormwater runoff that reaches Lake Tahoe, Washoe County participates in the planning, design, and construction of erosion control and water quality improvement projects within the County right-of-way in the Tahoe Basin. 

The improvements have included timber retaining walls, block walls, curb and gutter, storm drain pipe, detention/infiltration basins, sediment traps, rock lined ditches, check dams, plants and vegetation.

Washoe County is part of the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program (EIP). View EIP projects at conservationclearly.org/tracker.

For more information on Lake Tahoe's water quality:

Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) hosts the Lake Tahoe Watershed Program, a number of webpages with helpful information including a video about Lake Tahoe's water clarity and the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study (including an information clearinghouse of documents, data, and meeting information). NDEP collaborates with federal, state, local, and private partners to address water quality and other environmental issues in the watershed. 

Nevada Tahoe Conservation District (NTCD) is the local conservation agency for the portions of the Tahoe Basin located in Nevada. NTCD is a non-regulatory and grant-funded agency that works closely with federal, state, and local partners, including Washoe County, to deliver conservation programs to Nevada communities at Lake Tahoe. 

  • Homeowner Best Management Practices (BMPs) improve water quality by reducing soil erosion and capturing polluted water before it enters Lake Tahoe. 
  • In 2013, NTCD -- in collaboration with Washoe County Community Services Department and Gradex Construction -- won the Best in the Basin Award for Erosion Control for a new project in Incline Village. The project, located within the Village Boulevard right of way between Peepsight Court and Driver Way, installed eight Low-Impact Development (LID) features in the Washoe County right of way, including Tahoe's first public rain gardens. The rain gardens consist of shallow, vegetated depressions behind the curb that accept the first flush rainwater and snowmelt from Village Boulevard.

Tahoe Resource Conservation District's website includes a Watershed & Stormwater Monitoring Reports clearinghouse that includes the Tahoe Basin Stormwater Monitoring Technical Documents. Washoe County is part of the "Implementers" group who work collaboratively to monitor stormwater in the Basin. Two monitoring sites are located in Washoe County -- one along State Route 431 and the other in Incline Village.

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) protects and restores the environment of Lake Tahoe. The bi-state agency is charged with establishing thresholds, regional planning, development and redevelopment oversight, regulatory enforcement, and implementation of environmental protection and restoration programs for the Region necessary to achieve and maintain adopted regional standards. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency has a wealth of information about the Tahoe Basin including:

  1. Permit applications and forms
  2. Tree removal permits and defensible space
  3. Wood stoves
  4. Water quality and stormwater management program