Angora Sewer Reach
Angora Creek flows from its headwaters at Angora Lake through various public agency lands and private property before it reaches California State Parks property and eventually its confluence with the Upper Truckee River in the Lake Tahoe Golf Course. Most of the watershed, especially in the low lying meadow zones, has undergone some form of human impact such as grazing, and the creek has been dramatically altered.
The majority of the northern half of Washoe Meadows State Park is in the Angora Creek watershed, with Angora Creek and some of its small tributaries flowing through the park. A reach of the creek was captured after sewer construction, taking on a new course following a sewer line that runs down the length of a meadow. This new creek alignment ran in a straight line from manhole to manhole for over 2,000 feet.
This in turn caused severe down-cutting of the creek bed and lowering of the water table, resulting in drying of the meadow vegetation and impaired habitat. The creek was suffering from water quality issues as well because there was effluent from the sewer line leaching into the creek and ground water.
After two of years of planning and design, State Parks implemented a geomorphic-based stream restoration project in 2002. A new meandering channel was constructed at grade with the meadow, and the sewer line channel was backfilled and re-vegetated. The water table of the meadow was raised and healthy wetland vegetation restored.
Restoration in Pictures
Here are photographs of the restoration project:
The dark blue line shows the relatively straight creek channel before the restoration project. The light blue line shows how the creek channel meanders following the restoration.
Pre-restoration creek captured by sewer alignment flows by manholes.
This is a photo of the creek BEFORE the restoration project flowing in straight line over sewer.
Construction of new sinuous channel.
This is the same photo of the creek AFTER the restoration project showing the sinuous (curvy) channel and wet meadow.
Another photo of Angora Creek AFTER the restoration project with healthy meadow.