Summer storms the worst for dirty runoff | TahoeDailyTribune.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Summer storms the worst for dirty runoff

While Lake Tahoe certainly receives a lot of precipitation in the winter, it isn’t necessarily the worst time of year for dirty stormwater to run off into the lake.

And – maybe surprisingly – the worst time isn’t spring, either.

“During spring runoff, the rivers have high flows, but the runoff is pretty clean,” said Lauri Kemper, chief of the Lake Tahoe unit of the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board. “One of our biggest concerns is the summer thunderstorms, which goes hand in hand with the summer construction period.”



Strong storms in the summer, producing a lot of runoff, can pick up all of the dirt and material produced from various construction projects and transport it into Lake Tahoe, one of its tributaries or a gutter that essentially transports it to either of the former locations. Additionally, hard rains can lead to slides on steep slopes.

“What we like is slow, controlled runoff,” said Kevin Hill, hydrologist for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.




The biggest problem in the winter is when rain falls on a hefty snowpack. The rain and melting snow combine to create high flows in the basin’s streams and streets.


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User