Solution to Pollution is in Everyone's Hands
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!
Environmentally Safe Products
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
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.
that are biodegradable and without phosphates
products that are low in VOC -- some examples are lubricants
that are vegetable-based instead of oil-based.
paper -- try to find paper that contains at least 50% recycled
load washing machines -- these use substantially less water.
more information on "safe products" go to www.epa.gov/opptintr/epp/
Report Illegal 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
702-759-0600 or 702-759-1000 (afterhours).
For more about recognizing "potential illegal/illicit discharges"
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.
of Trash Properly
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.
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.
more information on waste reduction/recycling opportunities
for you group or organization, contact the following organizations:
UNLV, Rebel Recycling Program
4505 Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas, NV 89154-4030
Pick up After Your Pets
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
There are very easy solutions to this problem:
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.
parks throughout the Valley provide bags, look for the stands.
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.
pick up pet waste in your yard to prevent waste from making
its way to the gutter and storm drains
Let the Hose Run
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
washing your car, use biodegradable soap with as little
water as possible.
off the hose while washing your car and then rinse.
lawns require more or less water, depending upon the type
of grass you have.
or removing one minute from the watering time will change
the amount of water you use by 25 percent.
water when it's windy or rainy.
start times at least one hour apart. Use the cycle &
soak method of watering.
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.
you have an old mechanical sprinkler clock or a one-program
irrigation clock, upgrade to a newer, multiprogram model.
more information about water conservation, and water runoff
for the Southern Nevada Water Authority website.