by Kathy Whitlow, Operations Manager

Monitoring water quality in the Truckee River watershed. Photo: Stefan McLeod PhotographySignificant weather and water events like Hurricane Sandy on the east coast or potential seasonal snowmelt and/or storm runoff locally can turn our thoughts to water quality. From time to time, the Watershed Council gets questions on how, when and where to report quarter quality problems. For your convenience, we have posted a resource page on our website to assist area residents in reporting water quality problems. As always, emergency situations such as toxic or hazardous waste spills should be reported by calling 911. For non-emergency situations, we’ve provided local agency contact information. In general, these issues should be reported to the agency located nearest to the problem. 

What if you don’t live in the area full-time and/or see a reportable water quality problem in another city, county or state? Please check with the local city or county government offices online or by phone to determine the reporting procedure.

It’s easy to see how significant events like a hurricane or even the localized hailstorms we experienced in August can flush large quantities of sediment (and potentially nutrients, pesticides, etc.) into area streams and rivers. The reality is that erosion happens year-round, whether by water, wind, land use (e.g. gardening, farming, building, recreation, etc.) or gravity (e.g. landslides). While we can’t control Mother Nature, we can all do our part to help prevent soil erosion from area properties. According to the Nevada Tahoe Conservation District, as much as 22.18 cubic feet of soil and sediment per house erodes into our, streams, rivers and lakes each year. Our River-Friendly Landscaping program can provide you with a free site evaluation and plan to help control potential erosion sources from your property. Email or call us today to schedule your free site evaluation at or 530.550.8760 x3.