The Reno-Stead Water Reclamation Facility (RSWRF) sewer plant was built to serve the Stead Airport and to serve new developments in Lemmon Valley. It fronts Lear Blvd to the South and Military Road to the East. Older homes in the area are on septic systems. It has a 2 million-gallon per day (mgd) processing capacity. The effluent from the plant flows to Swan Lake. Reno has given conflicting reports on the type of effluent discharged by the plant. It has been claimed to be “Class A” which is suitable for recreation such as boating. It is comparable to lake water in terms of human health. It has also been claimed to be “Class C” which has much higher bacteria content and should not be in contact with skin. During the summer, most of the effluent is consumed by golf courses and landscapers for irrigation where drinking-quality water is not required. In the winter, there is little demand for irrigation and most of the effluent flows into Swan Lake. This poses a special problem during a wet winter when runoff raises the level of Swan Lake and can cause flooding such as in 2017.
Recently, there has been pressure on the plant to increase the capacity to 4 mgd to support continuing residential and commercial development in the area. This is controversial since it would increase the flood risk for Lemmon Valley residents if the added effluent flows into Swan Lake. One approach is to divert some of the sewage flowing into the plant to the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility (TMWRF) so that it leaves the Lemmon Valley Basin. There have been several proposals for a storage reservoir, using water for crops, evaporative methods, or aquifer injection. None has been approved.
Sewer Bond Approved by the State, 4/4/20
Reno … in for Half a Billion?, 8/17/19
Plans for Swan Lake, 8/27/19
Plan to Dewater Swan Lake, 8/6/19
North Valleys Sewershed, 8/14/19
No Moratorium, 8/6/19
No New Wastewater in Swan Lake, 6/9/19
Stead Sewer Plant Expansion Denied, 5/16/19
Sewer Annexation Issues: Correction, 2/15/19
Sewer Expansion and Annexation, 2/14/19