As a resident of South Lake Tahoe you get to enjoy our beautiful streams, rivers, and lakes and all of the recreational activities they provide on a daily basis. However, it is your personal responsibility to do your part in keeping those water sources clean. Listed below are some resources to provide you with simple steps that you can take to minimize our stormwater pollution.


Reduce Household Hazardous Waste by eliminating the use of harsh, toxic chemicals in your home and disposing of any hazardous waste you may have. South Tahoe Refuse offers a service allowing you to safely dispose of your hazardous waste for free. Also see this Hazardous Waste Reduction Info Sheet (PDF) for ideas on how to keep our stormwater clean and create a safer environment for you and your family.


Many landscaping projects can improve your home and garden appearance while also helping to reduce stormwater pollution. Examples include:
-putting in retaining walls or planting native vegetation on hillsides to prevent erosion
-laying river rock, mulch, or bark down under areas with high runoff (i.e. roofs)
-paving dirt driveways

These examples are called Best Management Practices (BMPs) and there are several others that you can use to help prevent stormwater pollution. Visit TRPA Stormwater Management Program website to get more ideas and find out how you can get a free BMP analysis of your property.


Let “natural, organic, and chemical-free” be your gardening mantra. Planting native plants can have many benefits for you as well as the environment. Native plants require less water and maintenance and naturally resist pests. For more information on native plants, irrigation systems, fertilizer alternatives, and healthy pest management, take a look and the Home Landscaping Guide for Lake Tahoe and Vicinity (PDF).


Stop or contain leaks and get them repaired as quickly as possible (stormwater runoff containing just a pint of oil can create a slick larger than a football field). If you change your own oil, store it in gallon jugs and take it to the South Tahoe Refuse Household Hazardous Waste Facility for proper disposal.

Soap and grime can be harmful to our waterways so take your car to a certified car wash instead of washing it in the driveway. Or, try washing your car on your lawn with biodegradable soap. You can reduce pollution and water your lawn at the same time!


Always make sure to pick up your pet’s waste and properly dispose of it in a garbage can.
Also, remember to keep your dogs leashed and on trails in natural areas to reduce impacts on wildlife, plants, and streambanks.