Tahoe Adsorptive Media

Collaborating Organizations:
Bachand & Associates and UC Davis Tahoe Research Group

Funding Organization:
Placer County, CA and California Tahoe Conservancy, South Lake Tahoe, CA

Project Description:

Anthropogenic changes in the Tahoe Basin have increased nutrient and particle loading and led to eutrophication and clarity reduction at Lake Tahoe.  Best management practices (BMPs), including stormwater basins and treatment wetlands, have been implemented to reduce these loads.  The primary objective of this project was to investigate whether adsorptive media will likely improve the ability of these BMPs to remove phosphorus (P), the limiting nutrient at Lake Tahoe. 

Dr. Philip Bachand of Bachand & Associates was the lead principal investigator and project manager for this project, working in partnership with UC Davis and the Tahoe Research Group. Bachand & Associates reviewed literature on potential substrates to improve phosphorus removal and assessed their potential efficacies using a combination of isotherm and column studies.  Promising media were then evaluated in laboratory and field column studies to understand P uptake characteristics in simulated and real stormwater treatment applications. Tahoe soils were found to have relatively poor phosphorus uptake capacity and stormwater treatment basins would seem to have opportunities for improved performance through utilizing the more promising adsorptive media.

Publications and Final Reports

Bachand, P.A.M.  and A. Heyvaert.  2005.  Adsorptive Media Investigations and Testing for Improved Performance of Stormwater Treatment Systems in the Tahoe Basin.  Final report submitted to Placer County Department of Public Works and The California Lake Tahoe Conservancy.  March 15, 2005. (Publicly available from Aquatic Commons).

[1] The Tahoe Research Group was integrated into the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC).