Water infrastructure and treatment facilities
Southern Nevada's water system consists of intake, transmission, treatment and wastewater processes.
Over the years, the Southern Nevada Water Authority has undertaken massive construction projects in order to ensure that these systems work as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Major Construction and Capital Plan
The Major Construction and Capital Plan was developed to provide for investments in our water system, including water resource acquisitions, system improvements, construction of a third water intake at Lake Mead, and the development of energy resources.
Third drinking water intake
Due to unprecedented drought conditions, the Water Authority constructed Intake No. 3 at Lake Mead. Completed in 2015, this new intake maintains our ability to draw upon Colorado River water and protects municipal water customers from water quality issues associated with declining lake levels.
Low lake level pumping station
Construction on a low lake level pumping station was completed in 2020, allowing the Water Authority to pump water from Lake Mead from an elevation as low as 875 feet above sea level. The pumping station has the capacity to deliver up to 900 million gallons of water a day to our treatment facilities.
Alfred Merritt Smith Water Treatment Facility
Built in 1971, the Alfred Merritt Smith Water Treatment Facility currently treats most of the valley's drinking water. Improvements to the facility enhanced the plant's reliability and increased capacity to be able to treat 600 million gallons a day.
The addition of ozone treatment in 2003 put the facility on the cutting edge of water treatment technology. After a complex filtration process, water sent to the Alfred Merritt Smith Water Treatment Facility is treated with chlorine gas, a disinfectant, to protect it on its way to customer’s homes.
The facility was recognized with an Excellence in Water Treatment Award from the Partnership for Safe Water in 2019. The award recognizes those water utilities that have adopted best practices in water treatment, rather than merely satisfying regulatory requirements.
River Mountains Water Treatment Facility
The River Mountains Water Treatment Facility began delivering treated water to the Las Vegas Valley in 2002.
Currently, the facility can treat up to 300 million gallons of water per day, but was designed to expand to meet Southern Nevada's needs. In the future, the River Mountains facility will be able to treat up to 600 million gallons of water a day.
The facility uses ozonation and sodium hypochlorite to disinfect the water.
The treatment facility received the Partnership for Safe Water's Excellence in Water Treatment award in 2018, making the Southern Nevada Water Authority only the fourteenth of the nation’s 50,000-plus water systems to earn this elite designation.