Tahoe Resource Conservation District

Upper Truckee River/HWY 50 Monitoring Site


Site Photo

UTR_hwy50 Catchment Map

Catchment Map


Catchment Size:

84.5 acres

Dominant Land Use:

This catchment is comprised of primarily single family residential properties, secondary roads, and commercial properties. 

Percentage of Impervious Surface:

55% of the catchment is impervious


City of South Lake Tahoe and Caltrans


The Upper Truckee River/ Highway 50 monitoring station is located in an outfall pipe protruding from the east bank of the Upper Truckee River along River Drive a short distance upstream (south) of the highway 50 bridge that crosses the Upper Truckee River in South Lake Tahoe, CA. The catchment encompasses the northern portion of the Sierra Tract neighborhood and about 3,300 feet of Caltrans right-of-way on highway 50. The vast majority of runoff originates from highway 50 (primary road) even though it only comprises about 10% of the total catchment area.

This monitoring site is important because it provides an opportunity to collect pre- and post- project data for improvements to stormwater treatment infrastructure planned in this catchment by both the City of South Lake Tahoe and Caltrans 2015-2017. Examples of treatment devices include an infiltration gallery and a Delaware Sand Filter directly upstream of the outfall pipe installed by the City in 2015 and 2016.  Caltrans plans to implement improvements in 2017.  Due to the relatively high volumes of dirty runoff known to discharge from this pipe, monitoring at this site is a great opportunity to show the reduction in both runoff volume and pollutant loads possible with the implementation of adequate stormwater treatment facilities.  This catchment is slated for registration in the first 5-year term of the NPDES permit.