Stormwater Runoff Carries Pollutants

into our storm drain system and water shed directly to the Truckee River! By doing our part to implement best management practices, we can protect our river, our health, and our environment.

A road with a lined rock ditch on the side

Low Impact Development (LID)

LID practices can reduce runoff and pollutants entering the storm drain system. The Truckee Meadows Structural Controls Design and Low Impact Development Manual covers relevant LID requirements and design guidance for the Truckee Meadows.

LID Design Guidance Worksheets

In general, Low Impact Development (LID):

  • Is a growing practice in stormwater management with principles modelled after nature
  • Strives to mimic the pre-development hydrology
  • Manages urban runoff at the source
  • Uses local and smaller scale controls as opposed to a more centralized stormwater treatment
  • Uses practices and techniques to capture, filter, store, evaporate, detain and infiltrate runoff close to the source

To learn more about LID, reference past technical trainings hosted by SWPCC, for detailed information:

LID Virtual Tech Training – Day 1
Video Replay Available in 5-Part Series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
LID Virtual Tech Training – Day 2
Video Replay Available in 2-Part Series: 1, 2

The Truckee River flowing through downtown Reno along the Riverwalk

BMP Resources

In addition to the provided resources, Construction BMP classes are offered each spring and fall. Please keep an eye out regarding upcoming classes or email to be placed on the interest list.

To learn more about BMPs, reference past technical trainings hosted by SWPCC, for detailed information:

Polluted water flowing into clean water

Pollutants from Construction Activities

Construction Site Pollutants can include: Sediment and potentially hazardous materials such as paint, stucco, cement washouts, and other improperly disposed materials.

Sediment flowing onto a sidewalk

Why be serious about sediment?

Sediment is the most common pollutant washed from work sites, creating multiple problems once it enters the Truckee River. Sediment carries with it other work-site pollutants such as pesticides, cleaning solvents, cement wash, asphalt and car fluids like motor oil, grease and fuel. Thus, poorly maintained vehicles and heavy equipment leaking fuel and oil at the construction site also contributes to water pollution.

Sediment can cause obstruction of storm drain systems and contribute to flooding and hydro-modification of waterways. Sediment can cover important aquatic habitats necessary for healthy fisheries, increase water temperatures and limit the growth of aquatic plants!

A storm drain surrounded by bushes and plants


Construction stormwater permits are required when the area of disturbance is greater than 1 acre or the site is within 1/4 mile of a major waterway. Your permit will allow you to discharge stormwater to the MS4 as long as the BMPs are utilized at your site. Talk to your building permit official about your site or visit the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection.

An example of the effects of soil erosion versus an example of erosion control


Disturbed soil is more susceptible to erosion, the process by which soil is moved from one place to another. Erosion control BMPs focus on keeping soil in place and preventing the migration in the first place.

An example of sediment on the roadway versus an example of sediment control

Sediment Control

BMPs that focus on capturing soil or preventing it from leaving the site are considered sediment controls. Silt fence, sedimentation basins, and track out pads are examples of sediment control.