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Landfill not affecting area groundwater

In a weekly memo, the Public Works Department announced it has submitted an application to the Southern Nevada Health District to waive its responsibility to monitor groundwater as it relates to the city’s landfill.

In accordance with state law, all landfills are required to perform groundwater monitoring to ensure landfill operations don’t impact Nevada’s waters. Because Boulder City’s groundwater is 500 to 1,000 feet below the surface, drilling a well to pump and sample groundwater isn’t feasible and the health district has always granted the city a waiver from regular monitoring.

“As part of our last landfill expansion permit, SNHD required the city to install lysimeters to monitor the vadose zone to see if we could capture any water leaching from the surface towards groundwater,” the city wrote in a weekly memo.

Samples collected in the past 3½ years have yielded such small volumes that it has been a challenge to perform many tests, the memo continued. The results from those tests have all returned concentrations below regulatory levels, which means the Boulder City landfill does not pose a threat to groundwater.

On that basis, the Public Works Department has requested a waiver from groundwater monitoring. If the health district finds that the landfill doesn’t pose a threat to the environment and future lysimeter sampling is unwarranted, the city will only have to continue quarterly sampling for 1½ years, which will save the city about $15,000 every year after that, said department director Scott Hansen.

Staff at SNHD should read through the 4-inch thick application and return its answer in the next three months, Hansen said.

City finds creative solution to light issue

A Boulder City resident recently pointed out that four streetlights on Nevada Highway, near Yucca Street, had been out for “quite some time.”

Originally the Public Works Department thought it would need to trench the highway and repair a broken electric line to get the lights working again. Instead, the electrical division came up with a “creative solution” to feed power to the lights.

“It’s not the ideal solution, but for now, the lights are back on,” the department wrote in the memo.

Electrical crews were able to connect the lights to a nearby junction box as an “interim” solution, said Public Works Director Scott Hansen.

“The electric line will ultimately need to be replaced,” Hansen said. “This will entail undertaking a significant project that involves trenching the highway, installing conduit, streetlight pedestals, and controllers.”

No timetable for the project has been established, he said.

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