Drinking Water from the River to the Tap

As we move into summer and our fourth year of drought, we are taking a look at our drinking water supplies and whether the quality is going to take a hit.

Most people who turn on the faucet don't often think about where the water is coming from.

Wednesday night, some TMWA customers got a closer look at how our water makes it from the river to our tap.

And it all starts on the Truckee River, or as TMWA calls it, their “lifeline". 

Will Raymond, Water Operations Supervisor for TMWA says, "The Truckee River is such a fantastic water source, we're really blessed to have such a clean source with so few impacts to our water supply."

From the Truckee River through the Highland Canal to the water facility, TMWA processes the water that you drink. And it is one of only 18 treatment plants in the country to win the President's Award for safe drinking water.

The Chalk Bluff Treatment Facility in Northwest Reno can process 90 million gallons of water a day. And the Truckee Meadows uses an average of 30 to 33 million gallons in one day during the winter months. In the summer, over 100 million gallons can be used. But one main impact that does affect our water supply is the drought.

"Even though we might be in drought conditions, you have those reservoirs and tanks that we can draw from if we need to, but they need to be replenished," said Jan Ziomek, a TMWA customer. 

TMWA is asking their customers to cut back by 10 percent on their water usage so that the water saved can be replenished into the drought reserves we have.

"We've been here before. We know how to treat the water. We know how to manage the water system and things like that,” said Raymond.

TMWA anticipates the Truckee River will dwindle by June 1st, but they have a back-up plan. They will draw from the four drought reserves we have: Donner, Independence, Boca and Stampede.  Plus they will begin drawing from groundwater reserves. And TMWA says they are confident they can meet customer's demands this summer and the next.