Tahoe Resource Conservation District

Program Information

Map of Tahoe RCD Monitoring Sites 

Tahoe RCD Monitoring Sites

SR431, Rubicon, and Pasadena site locations are used as both outfall and BMP sites. All sites were chosen because of their high direct hydrologic connectivity to Lake Tahoe.

  • Catchment outfall sites were selected based on diversity of land uses, a range of catchment sizes, and a reasonably equal distribution of sites among the participating jurisdictions.
  • BMP effectiveness projects were selected because of their potential in treating storm water runoff within the Lake Tahoe basin.


Tahoe RCD Involvement

The Lake Tahoe “Total Maximum Daily Load” (TMDL) identifies fine sediment particles (FSP) as the largest single contributor to Lake Tahoe’s clarity loss.  These particles are mainly carried by stormwater runoff coming off our urban environment.  Lake Tahoe’s distinction as an Outstanding Natural Resource  by the federal government means that the governing jurisdictions surrounding Lake Tahoe must strive to undo the damage to the Lake’s clarity that has taken place over the last century and provide evidence to support that their restoration actions are having positive effects.

The Tahoe RCD Stormwater Monitoring Program is leading the scientific monitoring of stormwater runoff at eight locations around the Lake Tahoe Basin. Not only do we measure the pollutant loads reaching Lake Tahoe through the stormwater pipes you may have seen; we also monitor the performance of public water quality projects, such as infiltration basins and stormwater filtration vaults.  With the data, we can determine the effectiveness of these types of stormwater treatment actions. 

Stormwater monitoring is a necessary strategy for truly understanding whether our collective actions are helping restore Lake Tahoe.  Since monitoring results are only as good as the data collected, Tahoe RCD developed the Regional Stormwater Monitoring Program in the Lake Tahoe Basin. It outlines protocols for consistent data collection, management, analysis and reporting of stormwater monitoring data. Now that this is in place, it’s easy to make “apples to apples” comparisons of water quality data collected around the lake.  Tahoe RCD analyzes the data and publishes the results in an annual report, aiding the jurisdictions in collectively reaching the goals of the Lake Tahoe TMDL and helping them make informed management and treatment decisions to reverse Lake Tahoe’s clarity loss. 

(View our Annual Stormwater Monitoring Report and other publications).