Lemmon Valley Update
Our region has experienced a combination of weather patterns beginning in the fall of 2016 through the 2018/2019 winter season resulting in record setting snowfall and rain with subsequent runoff that has created localized flooding. Particularly impacted were the closed hydro-basins in Lemmon Valley and Stead.
Safety is our number one priority and Washoe County staff is committed to supporting the communities' efforts to protect against flooding during weather events. HESCO barriers, inflatable dams, series of strategically-located pumps and k-rails have been implemented to provide protection. While the surface of the roads and the HESCO barriers are not water tight, inevitable seepage will occur but is not something to be alarmed about. Pumps in place contain the water within the lake, in addition to crews monitoring the protections around the lake daily, 24/7.
Bentonite Clay is a naturally-occurring clay product used commonly for plugging wells. Bentonite is a safe material also used in consumer products like make-up and food additives, and is drinking water certified.
HESCO barriers are military-grade temporary flood barriers surrounding Swan Lake. The barriers are four-feet high, extend four-miles around the lake and filled with 12,000 yards of sand.
Washoe County initiated a third party review of the HESCO Barrer System. - Read Review
An inflatable dam is a temporary enclosure in or around a body of water that is constructed to allow dewatering, diversion or damming of a targeted area. In connection with flooding, inflatable dams prevent water from crossing established/safety thresholds. For videos of the dams in action, please click here: https://www.youtube.com/user/usFloodControl1
Strategically Located Pumps
Pump stations have been placed around Swan Lake where water has collected to pump it back into the lake to keep it contained. These pumps will periodically change locations around the lake as needed to maximize protections. These pumps are a part of the overall strategy for managing and maintaining the barrier system surrounding Swan Lake.
K-rails are semi-permanent protections in high traffic areas. They are used around Swan Lake to protect the barrier system.