JoAnne Skelly: Why should we bother with BMP? |

JoAnne Skelly: Why should we bother with BMP?

JoAnne Skelly

Sometimes when it rains, it pours. Drive through Carson City during a storm and you will see water and mud pouring off properties into the streets and down the gutters.

Whenever rain or snowmelt flows over the ground, stormwater run-off occurs. Surfaces such as driveways, sidewalks and streets prevent the water from soaking into the ground. Run-off picks up debris, chemicals, dirt and other pollutants and flows into the storm drain system and directly into a stream, wetland or the Carson River.

BMP stands for Best Management Practice. BMPs are methods that prevent or reduce pollution to the river by controlling run-off and erosion. Eroded soil not only reduces water quality when it enters the river, but also clogs drainage culverts and storm drains. Blocked drainages cost money to clear and increase flooding potential.

Why bother with BMPs? When you install best management practices on your property, you can reduce flood damage, reduce sediment buildup and run-off, protect your investment and enhance the curb appeal of your home. BMPs on your property benefit the entire community, too.

They keep storm drains and culverts clear, reducing flood impacts and costs to taxpayers to clear clogged drains. Most importantly, they reduce pollution to local water bodies and eventually the Carson River, improving water quality for all.

Thanks to the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection Water Quality Planning Program, Carson City has a new grant-funded program called Carson Clear Water Revival. It is aimed at educating community members on the benefits of installing BMPS on their property.

The program is being developed by NDEP, Carson Water Subconservancy District, Carson City Stormwater Management Program, Nevada Tahoe Conservation District, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and the Nevada Fire Safe Council, with support from Western Environments Inc., Cinderlite, Greenhouse Garden Center, Western Nevada Supply, Spherion Staffing, Landscape Maintenance Services, Purple Avocado, Bodine’s Casino, Casino Fandango and Home Depot.

Using these water-quality protection grant funds, there is now a BMPs demonstration home in Carson City with more demonstration projects to follow. The site was chosen through a contest with potential participants attending a workshop.

If you live in Carson City and would like to be notified of the next contest where you can win up to $2,500 in BMPs such as rockwork, plantings and more, contact Genie Azad at 887-9005.

Also contact Genie if you are interested in a site evaluation to learn what BMPs would work best on your property.

For more information visit

• JoAnne Skelly is the Carson City/Storey County Extension educator for University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and may be reached at skellyj@unce. or 887-2252.