Stormwater Management

Douglas County Hosts Two Stormwater Master Plan Public Workshops

Flooding has a widespread impact on the entire community in Douglas County, ranging from road closures and school shutdowns to delayed emergency vehicle responses. The repercussions extend beyond individual neighborhoods, affecting the entire region.

Douglas County organized two public workshops in February with the aim of adhering to best practices in stormwater management and flood response. The purpose was to enhance transparency and seek public input on the County's stormwater master plan. The plan was adopted by the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners on March 21, 2024.

The Stormwater Master Plan can be viewed here.

What is Stormwater?

Stormwater is runoff from a rainstorm or melting snow. Urban landscapes - unlike forests, wetlands, and grasslands that trap water and allow it to filter slowly into the ground - contain great areas of impermeable asphalt and concrete surfaces that prevent water from seeping into the ground.
Stormwater also picks up many pollutants as it travels across the hard surfaces. These pollutants include: motor oil, pesticides, fertilizers, trash, and sediment that can harm the water quality of our local creeks, rivers, and lakes. Many people don’t realize that this polluted runoff flows to rivers and lakes untreated.

Polluted stormwater runoff generally happens anywhere people use or alter the land. People going about their daily lives are the number one source of stormwater pollutants. Most people are unaware of how they impact water quality.

Managing Stormwater on your Property

Slow it, Spread it, Sink it. Improving stormwater management on your property can help to improve drainage, lower risk of flooding and erosion, enhance your landscape, all while improving the health of lakes and streams.

Rain Gardens: Small, detention, landscaped areas that capture, filter and infiltrate rainwater. Rain gardens allow at least 30% more water to infiltrate into the ground compared to lawn!

Rain Barrels: Above ground water storage, or cistern. These capture rain runoff from a building’s roof using the gutter and downspout. Use the captured water to irrigate your landscape.

Good Housekeeping Practices: Stormwater picks up litter, sand, bacteria, oil and other chemicals as it flows over the land and carries these pollutants to water bodies. Use a commercial car wash that treats the water, maintain your car to prevent fluid leaks, NEVER pour or sweep anything down a storm drain, and limit herbicide, pesticide and fertilizer use on lawns.

Lake Tahoe Total Maximum Daily Load

The Lake Tahoe Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is a science-based stormwater plan to restore Lake Tahoe's famous clarity. The goal of the Lake Tahoe TMDL is to reinstate historic clarity and be able to see to depths of nearly 100 feet in Lake Tahoe. Douglas County has an Interlocal Agreement with the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection to accomplish this goal.

Douglas County is reducing the pollutant load to Lake Tahoe through water quality improvement projects, improving road operations such as sanding and plowing, and working with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency to achieve parcel best management practices (BMP) certificates. To date, Douglas County has met the second milestone (2016 and 2021) by reducing 21% of its contribution of fine sediment particles flowing into Lake Tahoe.

Douglas County Small MS4 Permit

The Federal Clean Water Act requires large and medium-sized towns across the United States to take steps to reduce polluted stormwater runoff. The law was applied in two phases. The first phase addressed large cities. The second phase, often referred to as ”Phase II,” requires medium and small cities, fast growing cities, and those located near sensitive waters to take steps to reduce stormwater. Currently, in Douglas County, the Clear Creek area and parts of Johnson Lane are subject to these regulations.

The main activities Douglas County is required to conduct through the permit are public outreach and involvement, illicit discharge detection and elimination, construction site stormwater runoff control, post construction stormwater management, and pollution prevention for municipal operations. The County’s MS4 permit boundary is likely to expand to include Minden, Gardnerville and the Gardnerville Ranchos in the near future.

See an Illicit Discharge? Click here for reporting instructions, and if it's within Douglas County, contact Courtney Walker, Stormwater Program Manager at 782-6215.

Contact Information

Courtney Walker
Courtney Walker
Stormwater Program Manager

To report a County stormwater or maintenance issue, please contact the Douglas County Public Works Stormwater Division at 775.782.6215. On-site visits can be arranged to provide drainage advice.

Physical Address
1120 Airport Road, F-2
Minden, NV 89423

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 218
Minden, NV 89423

Ph: 775-782-6215
Fx: 775-782-6297

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