Our regional water system
Southern Nevada's water system consists of intake, transmission, treatment and wastewater processes.
Over the years, the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) 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 is underway and scheduled for completion in 2020. The pumping station will allow the SNWA to pump water from Lake Mead from an elevation as low as 875 feet above sea level.
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.
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.