In partnership with El Dorado County and Texas Southern University, the Tahoe Resource Conservation District (Tahoe RCD) is monitoring stormwater runoff from Elk’s Club Drive to quantify the amount of fine sediment that comes from the road itself. Samples are taken of the runoff water and sent to the laboratory for source apportionment analysis. This lab test uses molecular markers to determine what portion of the fine sediment in the runoff comes from native soil (road shoulder erosion), traction abrasives (road sand), and asphalt (the road itself).
Currently, Elk’s Club Drive is in poor condition. It is covered in cracks and potholes. Not only is a degraded road bad for public safety, it is difficult to recover road sand and other material through road sweeping. Road sediment is a large portion of the fine sediment that ends up in Lake Tahoe, reducing its famed clarity. Early results show that up to 30% of this fine sediment includes asphalt (aggregate and binder). El Dorado County will be repaving Elk’s Club Drive this summer. After it is repaved, the Tahoe RCD will continue to monitor the runoff from the road for an additional year. If data shows that repaving roads contributes to improved water quality (less sediment), then improved pavement condition could be recognized as a water quality Best Management Practice (BMP). This would not only be identified for garnering credits for the Lake Tahoe TMDL Clarity Crediting Program (https://clarity.laketahoeinfo.org/), but also potentially opening up water quality improvement funds for road maintenance. New roads would be beneficial for public safety, vehicle maintenance costs, aesthetic appeal, driving pleasure, road maintenance and sweeping operations, long term durability, snow removal operations, stormwater quality, and lake clarity.
A washoff simulation was conducted in April to analyze runoff under controlled conditions. Over 5,000 gallons of water were released on Elk’s Club Drive and sampled at the terminal location. In a rainstorm, water runs off the road shoulder contributing native soil in runoff. In a snowstorm, there is likely to be high concentrations of road sand on the road and in runoff. The controlled simulation excluded native soil and road sand from the procedure, and focused runoff on the road surface only. Early results show peak turbidities (cloudiness) occurring with peak flows, indicating that sediment is being continually supplied by the road and suggesting that the road itself is eroding. The sediment in the samples will be subjected to the source apportionment analysis to confirm if this hypothesis is correct. Though the data is not yet in, the Tahoe RCD and El Dorado County are hopeful that, in the future, investments in new roads will be viewed as a win-win for the community and the lake.
The Tahoe RCD, along with agency partners, is developing a Stormwater Resource Plan (SRP). The SRP is required by the California State Water Resources Control Board to establish eligibility for bond funding for stormwater quality improvement projects. It quantifies the multiple benefits of planned stormwater projects and prioritizes them for funding.
Tahoe RCD is hosting two public meetings to introduce the concept of an SRP, present highlights of the draft SRP, and allow an opportunity for public participation.
The meetings will be held at the following times and locations:
December 6th, 2017 at 4 pm – City of South Lake Tahoe Council Chamber
December 7th, 2017 at 9 am – Town of Truckee East Wing Conference Room
Don’t miss out on these Water Conservation Workshops being held on the North and South shores of Lake Tahoe! These workshops are great for professionals as well as residents, and discuss a variety of topics dealing with ways to conserve water in the current drought situation we are experiencing.
Homeowners, contractors, and consultants can submit plans for small BMP Retrofit proposals that disturb less than 7 cubic yards and get an approval online.
If any of the following conditions apply to the proposed BMP installation then a BMP Retrofit Permit applicationor another TRPA application may be necessary and the project will NOT be eligible for a Small BMP Retrofit Plan approval.
• Engineered structures, such as retaining walls over 3 feet
• Extensive grade alterations
• Infiltration systems capturing runoff from areas greater than 2,500 square feet
• Excavation of over 5 feet
• Subsurface conveyance systems (piping) and drop inlets
• More than 7 cubic yards of grading
Applicants should be prepared to submit 3 items through the TRPA Citizen Access Database for a quick and easy paperless process. No trips to the TRPA offices!
Required Three Items
1. Site Plan that includes:
• Parcel Boundaries
• Map scale (if applicable) and north arrow
• Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN) and property address
• Location and label for all BMPs to be implemented
• Existing coverage (building footprint, driveway, walkways) and stormwater flow lines
• Locations of stream environment zones (SEZ), if present
2. BMP Treatments Form
Standard Conditions for applicants using the Small BMP Retrofit plan
- Approval of the type, sizing, and location of BMPs is based upon the reviewer’s assumption that the applicant has accurately and completely measured impervious areas contributing to infiltration systems.
- All areas displaying erosion or bare soil must be noted on the site plan and re-vegetated or otherwise stabilized. Vehicular access must be limited to paved areas in order for a parcel to be eligible for Certificate of Completion of BMPs. Parking barriers may be necessary in order to be compliant with this requirement.
- Small BMP Retrofit plans are not a verification of land coverage, land capability, or use, nor are they a conceptual approval of any future project. Land coverage cannot be verified, transferred or banked through a Small BMP Retrofit plans. These verifications require the submittal of a separate application to TRPA for review and approval.
How to Design and Install BMPs for Residences and Small Businesses
Choose from two workshops:
Half-Day Refresher Workshop on April 29 at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 128 Market Street, Stateline, Nevada for those who have completed the Basic or Refresher Workshop within the past two years. Registration fee includes the 2012 NRCS Standard Drawings Booklet, workshop materials and refreshments.
Full-day Basic Best Management Practices (BMP) Workshop on April 24 at the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences on the campus of Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, Nevada. Registration fee includes the 2012 NRCS Standard Drawings Booklet, workshop materials and refreshments. Lunch is on your own.
Whether you attend on April 24 or April 29, you will:
Find out how construction and landscaping activities can contribute to water pollution in Lake Tahoe and how to interpret a BMP Site Evaluation to install BMPs as required by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.
Become familiar with new developments in the BMP Retrofit Program at Lake Tahoe.
BMP Workshop Topics for 2015:
- How to use TRPA’s online resources.
- New electronic approval for small BMP retrofit design.
- Commercial and multi-family residential BMP permits and maintenance.
- How to qualify your business for the 2015 BMP Installation Service Providers List. Attendance by at least one supervisor per business is required.
Space is limited, so register early. For specific workshop questions, contact University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, 775-336-0244.
After you register, please visit Pre-class reading. Much of the content of the BMP workshops involves interpretation of a BMP Site Evaluation given to homeowners. Please familiarize yourself with the general content of all four components of this site evaluation: Recommended treatments, Site plan, Attachment 1 and BMP Treatment Descriptions. See also the new forms for electronic approval of your design.
Register by Mail:
Send registration form and check payable to “Board of Regents” to University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, 4955 Energy Way, Reno, NV 89502. Call 775-336-0244 if you have questions.
To ensure adequate seating, class materials and refreshments, please register in advance online or by mail. Walk-in registrants will be assessed a higher class fee of $55 for the Basic Workshop and $45 for the Refresher Workshop.
Cancellations after April 13, 2015, may receive a partial refund (minus the cost of refreshments). Registrants who do not cancel and do not attend will not be eligible for a refund. Persons in need of special accomodations or assistance must contact Ashley Andrews, email@example.com, at least three days prior to the scheduled workshop. Cooperative Extension is an EEO/AA institution.
BMP Workshop Quick Links:
Search this Site
News & Updates Categories
Recent Posts & Press Releases
- Wildfire Pre Attack Plans Funded by Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation for the Tahoe Basin
- Eyes on the Lake volunteers protect from aquatic invaders; celebration tonight
- Watercraft Inspection Stations Closing for the Season
- From Common Container to Masterful Mural
- Feinstein to Host 2019 Lake Tahoe Summit
Join the Conversation!
Sign up for our free email newsletter and receive information about events, programs, services, jobs opportunities and more!
The Tahoe RCD serves both residents and visitors of the Lake Tahoe Basin. Donate Now!
Ways to Get Involved
Get involved in the protection and conservation of local ecosystems through one of our volunteer opportunities! Check It Out!