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Southern Nevada Water Authority

Water Quality Research


In some instances, scientists can detect
contaminants in parts per quadrillion.

The Southern Nevada Water Authority's (SNWA) Research and Development team participates in dozens of studies exploring a wide range of topics. The team's goal is to improve the quality of Southern Nevada's drinking water.

During the past 30 years, tap water quality emerged as one of the most important issues to Americans. About half the country's municipal water customers own a home water-treatment device. Bottled water has developed from a niche market to a multibillion dollar industry.

Water Quality Improves

Municipal water quality is actually far better today than it was a half century ago. Improved treatment methods such as ozonation and ultraviolet disinfection have dramatically reduced the number of waterborne pathogens in the municipal water supply, reducing water-related illnesses. Pollution controls have become increasingly stringent, reducing the amount of contaminants allowed in the water supply.

Evolving Science

Technology that detects contaminants also has improved dramatically, and scientists now can detect remarkably low concentrations of contaminants. In some instances, scientists can detect contaminants in parts per quadrillion (imagine finding a single grain of sand on the beach). This evolving science has led to changes in drinking water regulations and the lowering of acceptable levels of some contaminants.

Leading the Way

The Water Authority looks beyond regulations to improve water quality and enhance the protection of customers from waterborne illness. From comprehensive water quality testing programs to innovative projects designed to explore health effects and new treatment technologies, SNWA is committed to improving both water quality and water-treatment methods.


Video: Water Quality Lab


Visit SNWA's Water Quality Laboratory and Applied Research and Development Center. Play

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