Truckee River Watershed: Mogul Creek

Similar to Chalk Creek, Mogul Creek is a minor tributary flowing down from Peavine Mountain into the Truckee River.

Mogul Creek flows south through the Peavine foothills between residential developments, past Somersett Park – East, around a few golf holes of the Somersett Country Club, and down through a small valley before reaching more houses, slipping under I-80 and plopping into the Truckee River.

Mogul Creek’s lower reach is in a concrete-lined channel just west of River Christian Center. The creek enters the Truckee River on private property.

As stated in our Chalk Creek post, the Mogul and Chalk creeks sit on the Hunter Creek Sandstone Formation — a geologic formation containing high amounts of salts in the soil. Before major population growth in the area, these two creeks were dry most of the year, and would only flow in response to rain and snow. Now, however, thanks to construction of homes, paved roads and irrigation, these creeks flow almost year-round.

According to the City of Reno’s Truckee River Watershed map, “The increase in water moving into the ground through our lawns, parks and golf courses leaches the salts out as well. What does this mean? Chalk Creek (and Mogul Creek to the west) now contain very high amounts of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), a pollutant to the Truckee River.

“Have you seen crusty salts at the edge of the water? This is TDS, popping out with water seeps in the creek canyons, deposited near the water’s edge. TDS is bad for downstream wildlife, and bad for our drinking water.”

Below are some things you can do at home to cause less homemade pollutants in the Truckee River:

  • Consider using less water in your yard at home. That might include less grass and more shrubs on a drip watering system or making sure your sprinkler system is on a timer to avoid over-watering.
  • Wash your car at a car wash instead of in your driveway. Commercial car washes recycle their water and filter it before it enters the local storm drains. Washing your car at home causes soap and other contaminants to end up in the gutter and then into our creeks and river.
  • The less fertilizers used on your lawn, the better. Fertilizer is transported quite easily downstream thanks to clays. The fertilizer chemicals used in our lawns grows algae in the creeks and rivers downstream.