is Stormwater Pollution?
of our rainwater travels through gutters, storm drains, channels,
washes and eventually into the major source of our drinking
water, Lake Mead. The largest source of stormwater pollution
in Southern Nevada results from every day activities. The most
common pollutants are:
(fast-food wrappers, cigarette butts, styrofoam cups, etc.)
(used motor oil, antifreeze, fertilizer, pesticides, sewage
overflow, pet droppings, etc.)
pollutants are picked up as water (from rain, hoses, sprinklers,
etc.) drains from streets, parking lots, and lawns to the storm drain system made up of over
the 66,000 catch basins, pipes, and open channels throughout Las Vegas and Southern Nevada.
Polluted urban runoff entering the storm drain system is conveyed straight to the
Las Vegas Wash untreated.
anything dumped or dropped on the ground or in the gutter contributes
to stormwater pollution.
Stormwater Treated Before Entering Lake Mead?
During a storm event, water runoff is carried by the Las Vegas
storm drain system directly into the Las Vegas Wash, which drains
to Lake Mead. Contaminated stormwater receives no treatment
because of the sheer volume of runoff from an area encompassing
1,600 square miles. The cost of treating Clark County's stormwater
would be so high that it would exceed available resources.
There a Difference Between a Storm Sewer and a Sanitary Sewer?
The sanitary sewer and the storm sewer are two completely separate
sewer system, or sanitary wastewater system, takes all household
wastewater from toilets, showers and sinks, and routes it through
your plumbing system into the one of three water treatment facilities
in the Las Vegas Valley. Once there, it receives three levels
of filtration treatment before being discharged into the Las
Vegas Wash and eventually Lake Mead.
stormwater system, on the other hand, was intended to route
rainwater quickly off the streets during a heavy storm, but
unfortunately takes all urban runoff along with it. Chemicals,
trash and debris from lawns, parking lots and streets, either
intentionally or accidentally spilled, goes straight into the
Las Vegas Wash.
more about the differences between the storm sewer and the sanitary
Are the Effects of Stormwater Pollution?
Stormwater pollution can pose a serious health risk to people
due to pesticides, bacteria, and chemicals that are washed from
our city streets and into the stormwater.
Countless marine plants and animals living in the Las
Vegas Wash or Lake Mead may become sick or die from contact
with stormwater pollution.
Clogged catch basins significantly decrease the quality of life
in many neighborhoods throughout Clark County. These "nests"
of trash and debris can attract rats and cockroaches, create
foul odors, and clog the storm drain
system affecting neighborhood aesthetics and property values,
and may cause local flooding.