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Do homeless camps impact our drinking water?

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Some viewers have said they're concerned homeless camps may be contaminating drinking water, but the Truckee Meadows Water Authority debunked this rumor.

"A homeless camp on the river directly isn't a concern from a final product standpoint," said Andy Gebhardt with the TMWA. "At the end of the day, that river is your drinking water. Anybody in that river, rather it is the homeless camp you're speaking of or the summer recreaters or sportsman on the river, always remember what you put in the river we have to take out."

Gebhardt added: "There are no concerns. The water is 100 percent all safe and meets all standards. We do monitor it. We would like for people to not use it as a restroom. But we watch it as it goes through."

Multiple tents are set up along the Truckee River near Sutro Street and East Commercial Row.

Here is a statement from the City of Reno:

Encampments can create safety and health concerns that need to be addressed by the City of Reno and our regional partners. When needed, the City of Reno will mitigate and remove unsafe or unsanitary conditions.
Whenever City staffers identify people in need of housing, we contact the Reno Police Department’s Community Action Officers who can provide them with information about available resources, including medical services and temporary housing at the Community Assistance Center (CAC). The City of Reno also coordinates with social services personnel and representatives from local agencies offering assistance to provide those in need of housing with additional community resources.
To report concerns with encampments, call Reno Direct during normal business hours at 775-334-INFO (4636).

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