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Learn about effects of urban water runoff
by Tribune Staff
Aug 23, 2011 | 709 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print

RENO — This Saturday, the Truckee Meadows Watershed Committee, members of the American Fisheries Society from the University of Nevada, Reno, and Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful (KTMB) volunteers will hold a volunteer-based urban watershed storm drain stenciling day, targeting the northwest Reno area. The event focuses on protecting the Truckee River from urban pollution.

“Every bit of dry weather runoff from our lawns, sidewalks and streets carries pollutants into the Truckee River, our drinking water supply and community center,” hydrologist Lynell Garfield-Qualls said in a press release.

UNR students from the American Fisheries Society club are equally concerned about fish and other life in the Truckee River. Fertilizers applied to lawns improperly can run off into gutters and storm drains and, ultimately, into the Truckee.

“When we fertilize the creeks and river, algae grows unnaturally thick. When this dies off, we see oxygen levels in the streams plummet, which can be toxic to fish and other sensitive species,” UNR student Schannon Gehrke said.

Urban Watershed Awareness Day begins at 8 a.m. Saturday at The Purple Bean at 1315 W. Seventh St. in Reno. Volunteers will meet there and head into the neighborhoods by 8:30 a.m. for a morning of watershed protection activities.

To take part as a volunteer, email Gehrke at For more information on protecting urban storm drains and the Truckee River, visit

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