Truckee Meadows Stormwater Program

TM SWPCC stands for the Truckee Meadows Stormwater Permit Coordinating Committee, organized to protect our watershed from urban runoff pollution.

The Truckee Meadows Regional Stormwater Quality Management Program is a comprehensive program comprised of efforts by the governments of Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County (making up the Stormwater Permit Coordinating Committee (SWPCC)), together with private citizens, to reduce the pollution associated with urban runoff in the Truckee Meadows.

This program is required by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued jointly to the Cities of Reno and Sparks and Washoe County .

Trees surrounding the flowing Truckee River through downtown Reno, Nevada

Elements of the SWPCC Program

The program includes the following required program elements:

  • Intergovernmental Coordination
  • Public Outreach
  • Municipal Operations
  • Stormwater Discharge Monitoring
  • Land Use Planning
  • Structural Controls and LID
  • Construction Site Discharge
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  • Industrial Program

About Program Elements

Use the drop down buttons below to learn more about each required element of the SWPCC Program.
Through coordination the committee has developed clear roles and responsibilities among the local jurisdictions for program development and implementation and has established the relationship of the local program to the state program. The City of Reno, City of Sparks, and Washoe County entered into a formal agreement for program development and implementation.

Public education and engagement helps inform the community of proactive steps to reduce pollution. Public engagement includes:

  • Storm drain stenciling w/ Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful
  • Earth Day celebration
  • School presentations

The Municipal Operations program addresses agency wide efforts to improve water quality.

  • Street sweeping
  • Storm drain cleaning and maintenance
  • Low Impact Development criteria
  • Staff training
  • Design criteria
  • Brine application reductions
This program implements monitoring stations for collection of stormwater runoff samples. Samples are tested in a state-approved analytical laboratory and reported in the Annual Stormwater Monitoring Report. See past annual reports on the Publications and Manuals page.

The Committee co-permittees review plans, conduct inspections, and collaborate with state and local agencies, health department staff and the public to ensure that future development occurs in a manner that minimizes environmental contamination and provides for sustainable development.

Reference the City of Sparks, Washoe County, and Reno Master Plans for further details on land use decisions.

New and significant redevelopment projects should reference the Truckee Meadows Structural Controls Design and Low Impact Development Manual. The LID manual outlines requirements and design guidance to reduce and treat stormwater runoff through the implementation of LID development practices.

Click here to download our LID Design Guidance Worksheets.

This program integrates stormwater management into the existing regulatory program.

  • Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs) reviews
  • Inspection and enforcement
  • BMP field handbook
  • Regional BMP classes

Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination, or IDDE, includes inspection and enforcement program for detecting and eliminating illicit discharges and connections. Outfalls along the Truckee River will be physically surveyed twice annually as well as periodically sampled.

This list is to assist you in recognizing potential illegal/illicit discharges into the storm drain system.

This program integrates stormwater management into the existing environmental control program.

  • Inspector training
  • Inspection and enforcement
  • Industrial BMP handbook
  • Complaints reporting and follow up
Concrete riverwalk along the flowing Truckee River in downtown Reno, Nevada

Watershed Projects

Learn about recent SWPCC Watershed Projects and their progress below.

Concrete riverwalk along the flowing Truckee River in downtown Reno, Nevada

Chalk Creek Subwatershed

A dirt ditch in between bushes at Chalk Creek in Reno, Nevada filled with dirt, large rocks, and lined with netting

Increased runoff from urbanization has increased the hydromodification rate and led to severe erosion at some sites along Chalk Creek. In the 2020 Watershed Plan for Tributaries to the Truckee River, Chalk Creek was listed as a high priority for implementation, and in 2020, the NDEP 319(h) Grant was utilized to kick start the Chalk Creek Stabilization and Erosion Control at Sapphire Ridge Project. Please check back for project progress and a future construction schedule.

McKinley Arts & Cultural Center Demonstration LID Project

Illustration of the process of low impact development; a rainy garden and the impact of water flowing into the soil and underneath the ground
The City of Reno completed a significant Low Impact Development (LID) project at the McKinley Arts & Cultural Center, breaking ground in 2009. This project includes rain gutters to capture rainfall from the large rooftop, and constructing “softscapes,” including a rain garden (depressed landscape area), and a pervious concrete parking lot, which receive and infiltrates rainwater from the western rooftop. Stormwater that runs off urban rooftops, parking lots, driveways and other “hardscapes” can carry lawn chemicals, oil drips from cars, sediment, trash, other harmful chemicals to organisms in the river. Since urban stormwater travels quickly into the stormdrain system, and is routed straight to the Truckee River, local LID projects created a bio-friendly approach to stormwater management, replacing hardscapes with softscapes. Softscapes infiltrates and treats stormwater naturally, preventing “urban slobber” pollution from entering the River. Two 2010 YouTube videos capture the project well; learn about the parking lot or learn about the rain garden. To learn more about pervious concrete and many other LID technologies, view the Low Impact Design Manual, and download the LID Design Guidance Worksheets.

Contact Us

Have a question or comment for the program? Send us an email or attend a meeting.

A splash of water