Stormwater Management

How Can I Prevent Stormwater Pollution?

We can all reduce our impact on the Truckee River by adapting some simple guidelines at home and in our neighborhood.

Read about the numbered areas of the map below or click the One Truckee River graphic to download a PDF.

  1. Compost bins (Keeps green waste onsite. Finished compost can be added to planting beds to build healthy soil.)
  2. Smart irrigation controller
  3. Rain barrel*
  4. Drip irrigation for trees, shrubs, and perennials
  5. Limited lawn areas – to create defensible space near the home while conserving water
  6. Pick up pet waste
  7. Water-wise plants in a buffer strip between the sidewalk and lawn to prevent sprinkler runoff
  8. Permeable paving on driveways and paths*
  9. Mulch in planting areas to build healthy soils, keep sediments onsite, and conserve water
  10. Use commercial car wash, fix oil leaks, and dispose of all vehicle fluids (and household chemicals) properly
  11. Mini meadow (i.e. rain garden) and dry creek to capture water from downspout*


*All low impact development strategies shall be designed and installed per the Truckee Meadows Structural Controls Design and Low Impact Development Manual

White golden retriever in a grassy field with an orange ball in its mouth

Pet Waste

Pet waste carries billions of bacteria as well as nutrients that harm our waterways. Please do your part and pick it up. See our partners on the hiking trail or volunteer as a doggie ambassador through Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation!

Cement pole and walkway with shrubs in a well-maintained garden

& Lawn

Many activities from landscaping and yard care can contribute various pollutants to the MS4. Organics, nutrients, and yard chemicals are potential pollutants.

  • Do not over water. Conserve water by using irrigation practices such as drip irrigation, soaker hoses or micro-spray systems.
  • In communities with curbside yard waste recycling, place clippings and pruning waste in approved containers for pickup. Or, take clippings to a landfill that composts yard waste.
  • Do not blow or rake leaves into the street, gutter or storm drains. Use organic or non-toxic fertilizers.
  • Do not over-fertilize and do not fertilize near ditches, streams or other water bodies. Store pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals in a covered area to prevent runoff.
Front yard of a residential home with landscaping including flowers, rocks, trees, and woodchips

Site Landscaping

Fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, and green waste can wash into and pollute local waterways. Reduce the risk of this occurring by reading the labels of each product used, following application recommendations, and taking measures to prevent over-application.

Specific landscaping techniques also effectively reduce runoff pollution. Check out One Truckee River’s guidance on designing a River-Friendly Yard. Also, learn how to design vegetated swales and rain gardens in the Low Impact Development Manual.


Over-irrigation can waste water and cause runoff into the storm drain. Reducing over-watering can save money and prevent the washing of fertilizers and lawn chemicals to the storm drain. Green business practices can include changes to landscaping which incorporate Low Impact Development concepts and water conservation principles.

Check out TMWA’s Water Efficient Landscape Guide, and One Truckee River’s guidance on designing a River-Friendly Yard.

Orange barrel on the side of a home collecting rainwater from a gutter

Rainwater Harvesting

Rain barrels for residential use are legal in Nevada, see NRS 533.027.

Diverting rainwater at home to barrels or a rain garden is a great way to reduce your runoff.

View our RainGarden Flyer.

Assortment of colorful household chemical cleaning bottles with gloves, sponges, and brushes

Proper Disposal
of Household

It is critical to dispose of household chemicals and pharmaceuticals properly. Dumping and disposal to the sanitary sewer is illegal! Improper disposal will result in these substances getting into our waterways.

Visit the City of Reno Community Cleanup site for dates of the City’s free hazardous and electric waste disposal days. Visit NDEP, Waste Management, and other local waste management companies including GreyMar, CleanManagement, and HERO NV for specific information on hazardous waste disposal.

Also, check out the recycle and disposal guide provided by KTMB.

To learn more about proper disposal of household hazardous wastes or the Curbside Recycling Program, call the Recycling Hotline at 800-597-5865, or call the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension at 784-4848 or 832-4150 (Incline Village office).

To learn about how to safely and efficiently manage waste, and particularly hazardous waste, in the home, visit the Household Waste Management page on the Environmental Protection Agency website.

An oil spot on the ground underneath the tire of a car

Car Maintenance

Oil drips, brake dust, tire wear can all contribute to runoff pollution. A few small steps can reduce impacts from our cars.

  • Prevent oil leaks by keeping your cars well maintained.
  • Clean up any spills right away.
  • Dispose of used fluids and wastes properly.
  • Use a community car wash where the water is treated and recycled.
Types of prohibited discharge: A rainbow oil slick and debris near a storm drain; a trash-filled drainage area; milky, polluted water near a drainage area; and a man dumping murky water into a storm drain

or Prohibited Discharge?

View our Prevent Local Stormwater Pollution Pamphlet (or, en Español) or find a printed one in business and agency lobbies around town!

Get Involved

Keep an eye on our calendar for upcoming events or view our volunteer opportunities.

A splash of water