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Lemmon Valley Winter Field Work Preview
Winter preparations to take place around Swan Lake

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Amy Ventetuolo

Reno, Nev. Nov. 18, 2019. As part of the maintenance ahead of the winter season, Washoe County work crews will be active in the field in the Lemmon Valley area and around Swan Lake to ensure the area is prepared ahead of winter weather. The following is a preview of the maintenance work that is currently taking place, and will continue to take place, over the next 4-6 weeks:

LakeCam project: In an effort to keep the community aware of Swan Lake water levels heading in to the winter, Washoe County crews have installed a LakeCam. This LakeCam, includes a large sign marked with water levels as well as a camera with a live stream for added transparency. As rain falls and the lake rises, residents and community members will be able to see in real time exactly how Swan Lake is responding to the increased precipitation. It also includes information regarding past lake levels and the protection level of the barrier systems around the lake. More information regarding where to view and the launch of the LakeCam will be forthcoming.

HESCO barriers: Over the next few weeks, crews will continue to evaluate, maintain and re-allocate portions of the HESCO barrier for future use for high-priority areas in the winter season. Washoe County is repurposing existing HESCO barriers by removing and reinstalling certain barriers to maintain protections of resident homes and roadways.

Tiger Dam & Earthen Berm Barriers:  Washoe County staff recently completed winterization of the inflatable Tiger Dams located at the northwest area of Swan Lake and used NDF crews to support those efforts.  As a reminder, all barrier systems have associated seepage and this seepage is expected and is not a concern.  Seepage pumps have been strategically placed to move this water back into the lake. 

Lemmon Valley Treatment Plant - New Fencing Project and Signage: New fencing is currently being installed around portions of the Lemmon Valley Waste Water Treatment Facility and is scheduled for completion by the end of November. The additional fencing project is a response to new permit language from the State of Nevada. While the final permit has not been released, Washoe County continues to be proactive in responding to the new requirements. There are also new signs being developed and will be installed at key areas around the treatment plant that inform readers about the production and discharge of reclaimed water. 

Additionally, Utility staff is reviewing the pumps, back-up generators and plant protections as part of the standard winter preparation process.  Nevada Dept. of Environmental Protection (NDEP) has a standing invite to tour the facility and will likely resume monthly visits should lake levels increase significantly. 

Roads: Washoe County Road Crews have been, and will continue, to clean the roadside ditches over the next few weeks in preparation for winter.

Routine Winter Preparations and Standard Maintenance:

  • Washoe County brought back a HESCO barrier expert who has reviewed and commented on the condition of the HESCO barrier system. The initial report is the barrier system is in very good working condition and a written report is expected in the next few weeks.  Staff continues to make spot repairs when barriers are impacted by vehicles. 
  • The commercial diver is scheduled to inspect the culvert plugs monthly as part of routine winter preparations.
  • Staff has scheduled a winter preparation meeting with the pump contractor to discuss pumps and winterization processes.
  • Staff is coordinating with the City of Reno to close portions of Lemmon Drive for a day to install seepage pumps along the barrier system. Once a date has been determined the community will be informed and signs placed to alert drivers.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility during these field work activities in preparation for the upcoming winter. Washoe County is dedicated to effectively maintaining protections around the lake, which are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure the safety of the community and the traveling public.

For non-emergency questions relating to these winter preparation activities, please contact Washoe311, by dialing 3-1-1 from any phone or 775-328-2003.



Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »
Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »