Bypass Diverts Water for River Restoration


The US Forest Service was working with an environmental engineer on a 5-year long commission to restore the Upper Truckee River, a main tributary to Lake Tahoe. The old channel of the river had been deeply eroded by years of flows around 800 CFS. A new channel was designed to support a lesser flow of about 375 CFS within a smaller stream bed that would have reinforced banks to prevent erosion and promote flooding. Flooding during spring runoff is the desired result as it will restore the natural floodplain, raise groundwater tables, and revive the wetland habitat. While the new channel was under construction, a 1.5 mile stretch of river was diverted; and once construction was complete, the customer required a bypass system to tie the river’s flow into the new channel.


During the final phase of the project, Rain for Rent provided two separate bypass systems to tie the diverted flow of the Upper Truckee River into the new river channel. The first and larger bypass used six 16” pumps to move 100 CFS into the new channel at the beginning of the summer season, and the second system used one 12” pump to move 15 CFS later in the season when conditions were drier.


  • The customer originally had a gravity system that was not providing desired results. The bypass pumping system Rain for Rent provided saved the customer time and money while providing a more environmentally sound option as it did not require trenching (as was necessary with the gravity line).
  • The only access to the bypass jobsite was across the South Lake Tahoe airport runway. The Rain for Rent crew attended a training class to learn how to communicate with air traffic control by radio in order to traverse the runway safely.


The Forest Service was very pleased with our solutions and service, and said that they will be working with Rain for Rent again in the future.

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