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Blue transmission pipes run down the length of a hallway at the River Mountains Water Treatment Facility

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.

 Venturi Meter for Alfred Merritt Smith Water Treatment Facility. Part of A Venturi Meter is placed at the Alfred Merritt Smith Water Treatment Facility as part of the Capital Improvements Program construction.

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.

A construction crew descends to the tunnel for the third intake at Lake Mead.

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.

A wye connector is lowered into place at the construction site of the low lake level pumping station.

Low lake level pumping station

Construction on a low lake level pumping station is underway and scheduled for completion in 2020. The pumping station will allow the Water Authority to pump water from Lake Mead from an elevation as low as 875 feet above sea level.

The treatment pools at Alfred Merritt Water Treatment Facility

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 splitter at River Mountains Water Treatment Facility

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.

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