Stormwater Program

The City’s Stormwater Management Program works to control and reduce the discharge of fine sediment, nutrients, and other pollutants from private lands and City streets and facilities into our streams and beaches along the Lake Tahoe shoreline.

What causes stormwater pollution? 

Land surfaces which are covered by buildings and pavement don’t allow rain and snowmelt to soak into the ground. The increased runoff discharges into storm drain systems and carries increased amounts of sediment, nutrients, pesticides, salts, automotive fluids, oils and pet wastes into local surface waters. The increased pollutant loads of fine sediment particles and nutrients carried in urban runoff have been confirmed to be the major cause of the loss of clarity in Lake Tahoe.

 How to Reduce Stormwater Pollution 

The CSLT Stormwater Ordinance (PDF) states that “Nothing but rain water or snow melt may be discharged into a storm drain. It is harmful and illegal to discharge waste, wash water, cleaning fluids, or other materials of any kind into the storm drain system.” As a resident, business, or construction site in South Lake Tahoe there are certain practices you can follow to ensure you are observing the regulatory requirements and helping to keep our stormwater clean. 

To report an illicit discharge call the Stormwater Hotline: (530) 544-1910.

Visit the following links to find more information and useful resources: 

Things You Can Do at Home
There are several simple changes to your home, auto, and garden care that can help to keep our stormwater clean.

Business Practices
Proper cleaning, maintenance, and liquid storage practices in the workplace can help prevent stormwater pollution.

Construction Sites
Stormwater pollution can be reduced at the construction site by following several construction site BMPs and the City of South Lake Tahoe Public Improvement and Engineering Standards.

Stormwater Management Program Brochure (PDF)
Quickly learn about the South Lake Tahoe Stormwater Management Program and what you can do to help keep our water clean.

Regulatory Requirements

Stormwater runoff discharges in the City are regulated under state and federal laws through National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer System (MS4) discharge permits. This permit was issued to the City by the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board and requires the City to take certain actions in order to meet the requirements of the Lake Tahoe Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). Some of the requirements include:

  • develop and implement a pollutant load reduction program to reduce the discharge of fine sediment particles to Lake Tahoe by 10% in the period from 2004 through 2016;
  • prohibit non-stormwater discharges;
  • minimize potential adverse impacts from new development/redevelopment; and
  • increase public awareness about the effects of urban runoff on surface waters, and encourage behavior to reduce pollutant discharges.

View the CSLT Stormwater Ordinance (PDF)

View the CSLT Grading Ordinance (PDF)

View the full MS4 permit

View the 2017 Annual NPDES Report (PDF)

TMDL Documents

View the updated 2018 Pollutant Load Reduction Plan (PDF)

View the 2016 CSLT Baseline Report (PDF)

View the 2011 CSLT Baseline Loading Estimate (PDF)

View the CSLT Pollutant Load Reduction Strategy Plan (PDF)

2008 Drainage Master Plan

In 2008, the City completed a Drainage Master Plan to provide a comprehensive review of drainage conditions within the City. The report evaluated watershed hydrology, drainage problem areas, and potential projects to address prioritized drainage problems. Projects included in the 2008 Drainage Master Plans were identified to address nuisance flooding, property damage and protect the clarity of Lake Tahoe. Completed projects in the 2008 Drainage Master Plan include:

  • Al Tahoe Erosion Control Project - Lake Tahoe EIP
  • Colorado Court Pump Station
  • Sierra Tract Erosion Control Projects (Phases 1B, and 3 & 4) - Lake Tahoe EIP and
  • Angora Fire Protective Measures – Lake Tahoe EIP
  • Bijou Commercial Core Erosion Control Project – Lake Tahoe EIP

Stormwater Mapping Applications