Marlette Lake Water System

The Marlette Lake Water System (System) consists of Marlette Lake and Hobart Reservoir, a 1-million gallon storage tank above Lakeview, a pump at Marlette Lake with a natural gas fired generator at a remote building site, several “catchments” on the East Slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains above Washoe Valley which are designed to capture spring water runoff, and interconnecting piping systems.

The System is a historic water system originally constructed in the mid-1870’s to provide water to Virginia City, and was authorized for purchase by the 1963 Legislature from the Curtiss-Wright Corporation at a cost of $1.65 million. Originally, water was conveyed via a wooden flume from Marlette Lake to a pipeline bored through the mountain and eventually fed into Hobart Reservoir. The wooden flume structure has been removed and the adjacent trail, named the “Flume Trail”, remains for visitors to explore this historic area. The adjoining lands to the Marlette Water System are administered and controlled by State Parks. Today the System provides raw water to Carson City and Storey County. In fact, it is the only source of raw water for Virginia City and is piped to Storey County’s system through the inverted siphon piping system that runs down from the storage tanks on the East Slope, under the 395/I-580 freeway, and up the east side of Washoe Valley to the 5-mile reservoir near Virginia City.

The major objectives of the System are to preserve and protect local water sources, provide adequate supplies of water to the areas served, maintain the system in a condition calculated to assure dependable supplies of water, and sell water under equitable and fiscally sound contractual arrangements. This system is funded entirely from water sales to Carson City and Storey County.

There are a number of natural springs on the east slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains above Washoe Valley. A series of “catchments” have been constructed at several of the springs and the water collected is piped down to the Lakeview storage tank. The system of catchments is currently being improved and expanded to increase the amount of spring water runoff collected for distribution.

The Marlette Lake Water System Operations Office can be reached directly at (775) 687-1022, or contact the Buildings and Grounds Office in Carson City at (775) 684-1800.