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Tributary Water Quality

Water Quality Conditions in Steamboat Creek, Washoe County, NV, with particular emphasis on NPS Loading of N, P, and selected Metals

While there is a currently established and comprehensive water quality monitoring program on the lower portion of the Truckee River downstream of Reno, and nutrient load entering the river from the Reno-Sparks Wastewater Treatment Facility (RSWTF) is well documented, very little is known about the magnitude and importance of nonpoint source (NPS) nutrients from the urban-agricultural watershed south of Reno. Indeed, in many systems, nonpoint source pollution to receiving bodies exceeds point source discharge. In response to this, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, in cooperation with the Washoe County Department of Comprehensive Planning has been conducting an extensive water quality monitoring program on Steamboat Creek and its major tributaries in order to (1) determine the relative magnitude of this creek with regard to nitrogen and phosphorus loading to the Truckee River and (2) determine its contribution of metals and its effect on downstream water quality.

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