Stormwater Quality Management Committee
Clark County Regional Flood Control District
600 S. Grand Central Pkwy. Las Vegas, NV 89106

The Solution to Pollution is in Everyone's Hands

Throughout the world, water pollution has become as massive a problem as air pollution--possibly greater. For example, huge areas in the waters off the Gulf of Mexico have become "dead zones" devoid of marine life that has been attributed to runoff that contains pesticides and herbicides. But the solution is so easy!

Use Environmentally Safe Products

By using "environmentally friendly" products we can positively affect urban flows in the storm drain system. When these products are used, there are less contaminants going into the wastewater treatment system and the Las Vegas Wash. When contaminants make their way down the storm drain system they can have a detrimental affect on the environment. By minimizing the problem at its source, we can make a positive difference in the environment for ourselves and the numerous species that call the Wash "home." Some examples of "environmentally friendly" products are:

  • Paints with lower Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs -- higher VOC products are used to dry walls, etc. faster, but in most instances, a lower VOC works just as well.
  • Soaps that are biodegradable and without phosphates
  • Automotive products that are low in VOC -- some examples are lubricants that are vegetable-based instead of oil-based.
  • Recycled paper -- try to find paper that contains at least 50% recycled materials.
  • Front load washing machines -- these use substantially less water.

For more information on "safe products" go to www.epa.gov/opptintr/epp/ .

Report Illegal Dumping

Dumping in the desert may result in rain and flood water being diverted into areas not designed for drainage. Debris, trash, paint products, motor oil and other chemicals can be picked up by rainwater flow and deposited into the storm drain system. Illegal dumping is against the law!

To report illegal/illicit dumping or discharges to the storm drain system, contact the Southern Nevada Health District
at 702-759-0600 or 702-759-1000 (afterhours).

For more about recognizing "potential illegal/illicit discharges" click here.

Compost Yard Trimmings

Dispose of yard clippings and waste in a compost bin or other green containers. Most people compost in a bin, which in Las Vegas should be located in the shade or partial sun. A bin is not necessary, but helps keep the materials contained and neat. Your bin can be cubed, approximately 3' x 3' x 3', or a 5' diameter hoop of hardware wire. You can layer the materials in the bin by alternating 3-4" layer of grass clippings, manure, or kitchen scraps and 3-4" layer of leaves, sawdust, and wood chips. Or you may mix them up and place them in layers in the bin. Water the compost as you build the bin.

Dispose of Trash Properly

Much of what we throw away as trash is considered recyclable! It is estimated that of the 4 tons of trash that washes up on beaches--over 80% of it could have been recycled!

Separate items thoughtfully and discard only what is non-recyclable. Recycle paper, plastics, and glass through your Curbside Recycling Program with Republic Services of Southern Nevada.

Keep a trash bag in the car and use it! Do not throw anything out the window. Keep up car maintenance to reduce leakage of oil, anti-freeze and other fluids.

Contact the Nevada Recycling Hotline 1-800-597-5865 to receive information on what and where to recycle according to your zip code.

For more information on waste reduction/recycling opportunities for you group or organization, contact the following organizations:

UNLV, Rebel Recycling Program
4505 Maryland Pkwy
Box 454030
Las Vegas, NV 89154-4030
(702) 895-3760
tara.pike@unlv.edu

Pick up After Your Pets

One of the biggest contributors to urban runoff pollution is through every day activities. One area where we see this is in the improper disposal of pet waste. Often times when people walk their pets, they do not clean up their pet's waste. This can be a problem for a few reasons: Pet waste carries with it numerous bacteria such as the potentially harmful E-coli bacteria. This bacteria, through fecal matter, often makes its way into the storm drain, which ultimately makes its way into Lake Mead via the Las Vegas Wash.

There are very easy solutions to this problem:

  • Take a plastic bag with you to the park - when your loved one is "done", put the waste into the plastic bag and dispose of it in a trash receptacle.
  • Many parks throughout the Valley provide bags, look for the stands.
  • Pick up a "pooper scooper" from the Clark County Regional Flood Control District or the Las Vegas Valley Stormwater Quality Management Committee at various public events.
  • Regularly pick up pet waste in your yard to prevent waste from making its way to the gutter and storm drains

Don't Let the Hose Run

Did you know that residents use up to 90 percent of their drinking water to irrigate lawns and landscaping during the summer months. Over watering our lawns needlessly wastes water and can transport pollutants like pet waste, fertilizers, and pesticides into the streets and eventually into the stormwater system. Help protect stormwater by following these simple lawn and household water guidelines:

  • When washing your car, use biodegradable soap with as little water as possible.
  • Shut off the hose while washing your car and then rinse.
  • Some lawns require more or less water, depending upon the type of grass you have.
  • Adding or removing one minute from the watering time will change the amount of water you use by 25 percent.
  • Don't water when it's windy or rainy.
  • Schedule start times at least one hour apart. Use the cycle & soak method of watering.
  • If your timer has a "skip day" mode, water lawns 4 to 5 days apart in the winter and 2 to 3 days apart in the spring and fall.
  • If you have an old mechanical sprinkler clock or a one-program irrigation clock, upgrade to a newer, multiprogram model.

For more information about water conservation, and water runoff prevention, click here for the Southern Nevada Water Authority website.

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