Ward Creek Stream Bank Restoration
The picture to the left is of a completed portion of a stream bank restoration project which Marvin Davis & Associates (MDA), now Reno Tahoe Geo Associates (RTGA), has been involved in, on and off, for several years.
The project is on Ward Creek, which discharges into Lake Tahoe. MDA developed the project (with geomorphology input from Cardno, landscaping (not yet installed) by High Desert Landscaping, and with the owner’s permitting consultant, Agan Consulting), prepared plans, and provided responses and revisions to meet the permitting agency requirements (Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Lahontan Water Quality Review Board, Army Corps of Engineer, Placer County, Fish and Game). RTGA continues the work started by MDA at the start.
The project as shown is complete, but prior to replanting; the young cottonwood in the far bank was protected in place and rock placed around it. This portion of the creek regularly runs dry in late fall, as what water there is in the upstream reaches sinks into the permeable alluvial fan. The photo below shows the original bank condition in approximately 2012. The shed in the background is the same one in the picture above. There are deep scour holes, probably 5 feet deep below the water surface, at the foot of this bank, in gravelly sand bank material that is considerably finer than the modern stream bed and is easily eroded. Several trees on this bank were casualties over the past decade.
The next photo is a view during construction from the stream bed. The black fabric in the foreground right is for temporary sediment control/removal in the undisturbed stream bottom; the pipes on the left are a pumped water diversion (the creek was dry at time, though). The back of the bank includes a 15-foot-deep sheet-pile wall, visible at only one location in front of the excavator where the geotextile is pushed aside (also not visible in the first photo, as completed). Note the pipes inserted in the riprap to guide installation of willow, dogwood, or alder stakes through the rip-rap into the underlying soil, which will be part of the revegetation plan. Construction was done by Gensberg & Sons, Tahoe City. This project should greatly reduce erosion and sediment generation problems for this bank of the creek, and also enhance the natural environment for the property owner.