SWPPP? SNWA? Information about our Water in Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas has been my home for over 10 years now and one thing remains constant: CHANGE. With this wonderful population growth and strong economy comes one major byproduct: CONSTRUCTION. Construction of new casinos and Las Vegas homes are the lifeblood of our community. If you have ever driven in a Las Vegas new home development while they are building, you may have noticed these funny-looking log-like items near the street. Maybe you spotted some sandbags or a seemingly useless short black fabric fence amongst the bulldozers and freshly-paved streets.

All of those items are part of the SWPPP or Storm Water Pollution Prevention Program. It is enforced by the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) and is actually a program in many states implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency. Construction companies are given a 46 page manual on how to implement the SWPPP at their sites. Components that assist in this process include fiber rolls (those log-like mesh tubes filled with hay), silt fences (the black fabric fence about two feet high) and many other important elements.

It is imperative that the SWPPP is in place because construction sites erode 7 to 9 times more tons of sediment per acre than row farming, which is second in line for erosion rates. The EPA has implemented this system as a part of the Clean Water Act.

Las Vegas is part of the Mojave Desert and we rely upon our water source out at Lake Mead for much of our drinking water. Many conservation efforts have been put into place to retain our beautiful Lake Mead. Unfortunately, there are droughts that affect all of the Colorado River Valleys and we are a part of it. Lake Mead’s water levels have dropped about 100 feet since January of 2000. By implementing the SWPPP, we reduce the amount of sediment that is dumped into our lake, which helps to protect our local wildlife and especially our native fish species like the endangered Moapa dace.

If Las Vegas is to continue to thrive in the middle of the desert, it will take every citizen’s effort to reduce our consumption of water and eliminate toxins and waste going into our storm water drains. Next time you see a hay log near the gutter, make sure you don’t disturb its important job. By all means, feel free to check out these websites for more information about what days you can water your lawn, when it’s ok to wash your car and best of all: INCENTIVE AND REBATE PROGRAMS from the Las Vegas Valley Water District for changing your landscaping to a more desert-friendly environment.

Southern Nevada Water Authority
Las Vegas Valley Water District
Environmental Protection Agency

Denise Willer is a member of The Michelle Sterling Internet Real Estate Team at Prudential Americana Group, REALTORS. If you are interested in more information about this article in particular, or Las Vegas real estate in general, please call Denise at 702-810-0082.

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