01.01.01 - Reduce Stormwater Pollution From: Roads and Highways, Forest Roads, Public and Private Parcels


Runoff from developed land is one of the largest sources of fine sediment and other pollutants in Lake Tahoe. Precipitation that falls on impervious surfaces (i.e., rooftops, driveways, compacted dirt) runs off and flows into roadside drainage channels. This runoff then combines with stormwater from roads to produce a large volume of water containing nitrogen, phosphorus, and fine sediment that drains into the Lake. Water volume and stormwater runoff from roadways and developed land is a major contributor to Lake Tahoe’s clarity decline. The Lake Tahoe TMDL identifies the pressing need to address this runoff in order to achieve water quality standards at Lake Tahoe.


To reduce erosion and stormwater runoff, erosion control projects, BMPs, and advance treatment methods are implemented. Projects will reduce both the volume of water and the amount of fine sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus from the road networks and private and public developed land that drains into Lake Tahoe.


Projects include:

  • Retrofitting roads, highways and streets with stormwater infrastructure that captures and treats runoff including curbs, gutters, and filtration technology.
  • Installation of rock-lined channels, bioswales, and stormwater infiltration basins.
  • Vegetating hillsides, installation of retaining walls and other erosion control improvements.
  • Decommissioning Forest Service roads which no longer serve important as recreational or forest management uses.
  • Installation of area-wide treatment and pump treatment facilities.
  • Reduction and improved collections of sand and cinders applied for traction control in winter months.
  • Retrofitting public and private parcels with Best Management Practices (BMPs).
  • Assisting public and private property owners with BMP inspections, installations, and certifications.

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