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Southern Nevada Water Authority

Wash Weir Construction

Weir

Upper Diversion Weir near the
Clark County Wetland Park
Visitors Center.

Erosion is perhaps the greatest threat to the Las Vegas Wash, and therefore is one of the biggest challenges being addressed by the Las Vegas Wash Coordination Committee.

One way to mitigate the potential for erosion is by placing erosion control structures (which are also known as weirs) throughout the Wash. In total, 21 structures are planned for the Wash. As of May 2017, 19 have been completed and one is currently being constructed.

The weirs are constructed using steel sheet pile, concrete and flexible rock rip rap. In the early Wash stabilization days, portions of the imploded Stardust Casino, the El Rancho Casino, Desert Inn Hotel, MGM Hotel, Castaways and Westward Ho concrete rubble have been used to stabilize the wash. In the past, demolished hotel material acquisition has proven to be an invaluable method for meeting ecosystem restoration goals along the Wash.

As sections of the channel are stabilized, additional riparian and wetland habitat are developed. The weirs help slow the water, creating a pond behind the structures in which wetland plants can establish. Weir construction activities also clear acres of invasive plants such as tamarisk from the banks of the Wash. These cleared areas are then revegetated with native species.

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