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Evaluating Water Quality in the Lower Truckee River

Date Posted: December 12, 2005

Results of this investigation revealed that trout in the Truckee River are being exposed to significant levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) within the urban area of Reno and Sparks. Trout downstream of the urban area of Reno and Sparks also have elevated concentrations of arsenic, mercury, and selenium. Based upon these results, the Service is working in conjunction with the cities of Reno and Sparks to develop and implement strategies to reduce non-point source (NPS) pollution to the Truckee River. The Service is also working directly with the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility to reduce potential impacts from their point source (PS) discharge to the Truckee River. Working with the Cities of Reno and Sparks, along with Washoe County, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, U.S. Geological Survey, Desert Research Institute, University of Nevada- Reno, and the Nevada Department of Wildlife, the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) standards for several constituents are being assessed and will be revised. The City of Reno also recently issued new storm-water engineering guidelines and best management practices to reduce non-point source pollution to the Truckee River. In addition, approximately 8 acres of riparian habitat were improved on McCarran Ranch to help reduce point and non-point source pollution in the lower Truckee River. Further restoration of the McCarran Ranch is planned along with planned additions of riparian and wetland habitats in the floodplain throughout the Truckee Meadows area for purposes of improving flood control.

Contacts:
Damian Higgins, (775) 861-6337

Links:
Nevada Fish & Wildlife Office Reports & Publications - Preliminary Assessment of Contaminants and Potential Effects to Fish of the Truckee River, Nevada. Higgins, D. K., Tuttle, P.L., Foote, J. S., 2006

USFWS, Division of Environmental Quality - Contaminant-related Definitions:
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
Point Source Pollution
Non-point Source Pollution

Last updated: February 13, 2013