Low Truckee River Exposes Trash

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RENO, Nev.--As the water level on the Truckee dropped Tuesday it revealed several years worth of trash that people let sink to the river bottom.

As the flows on the Truckee continue to drop, its ecosystem is growing more fragile.

"The Truckee River really needs our help right now, and I think now is the time for us to step up," said Jim Litchfield, owner of the Reno Fly Shop and member of the Truckee River Foundation.

Parts of the Truckee right now look more like a trash bin than waterway. Beer cans, bottles, styrofoam plates, and random trash litter the riverbed.

"To see anybody treat something that I love not respectfully and not the due respect that I think it deserves, its disheartening. It's disturbing," said Litchfield.

Litchfield says we all need to do our part to keep the river clean. It starts with picking up trash, but most of the pollutants in the river are ones we can't see.

"Every single day, we impact the river from our homes, from our places of work, from our cars. So that means when your car has drips, auto drips, you clean it up," said Lynell Garfield, a hydrologist with the City of Reno.

We have all seen the signs on storm drains that say 'No dumping, drains to creek.' They drain to the Truckee River without any filtration. Whether it be oil or suds from washing the car, it ends up directly in the river.

"I think we all need to step up and do what we can and think about how we impact the river and minimize it," said Garfield.

We're all doing things we do realize pollutes the river. Like using sunscreen, if you get in the river too quickly it washes off and ends up in the river. If you over water you lawn, it can create a problem. Fertilizer can run off and end up in the river. These issue are always a problem but moreso now.

"The solution to pollution is dilution they say and right now we don't have a lot of natural water to dilute with."

If you want to help make the river look better. Coming up on September 27th, Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful will host a river clean up day that you can learn about by clicking here.