weather icon Clear

Let’s not make another mistake with SNWA

Updated August 6, 2020 - 9:36 am

Every resident and business in Boulder City pays a wastewater charge. Boulder City wastewater is treated to Southern Nevada Health District standards for discharge into the desert and returned back to the aquifer.

Once it goes through treatment in the Boulder City wastewater treatment plant it does not sit in evaporation ponds. The water is released out into the desert. When the water is released, this gray water from sinks, showers, baths, washing machines, dishwashers, etc., is then accessible to desert wildlife.

Before this water is released into the desert, contractors have the opportunity to purchase the water for dust control. Right now, the solar contractors are buying this water from us for dust-control and solar projects.

For people who are curious, that is the black 12-inch pipe running south along U.S. Highway 95. It was installed by the solar contractors. Boulder City gets paid for this water, which is some of the most efficiently used water in Southern Nevada. The benefits here are numerous.

If the SNWA return water project went through, Boulder City would lose that income, now at $750,000, from the sale of reclaimed water. If contractors don’t have our reclaimed water for dust control, Boulder City would have to extend the newly installed $2 million 18-inch pipeline to the solar area and let them use Boulder City’s drinking water for dust control.

This should worry us. The estimated cost was $12 million to extend that waterline. If the residents of Boulder City are required to supply drinking water for dust control for solar projects, we lose that drinking water for our personal consumption.

Boulder City will get no credits for returning the reclaimed water. If the residents of Boulder City decide to send the water back to Lake Mead, a pumping plant will have to be built. A conservative rough estimate could cost $26 million for the pumping plant and a 6-mile pipeline to Henderson

In the July 30 commentary “Facts Over Fear” (by Councilwoman Claudia Bridges) in the Boulder City Review, the small basin mentioned would have to be able to hold approximately 2 million gallons of wastewater. That translates into a small pond, 20 feet deep, and over a quarter of an acre in surface area.

Are we going to cover that to prevent migratory birds from landing on it? If it’s a pumping plant, which it will be, who pays for the electricity, and who will operate it?

Also, we would have then maximized Henderson’s wastewater facility, so the question is, who then pays for Henderson’s increased expansion project?

SNWA does not do anything for free. When SNWA drilled the third intake, we wound up writing checks for cost overruns as part of the agency’s membership. Additionally, it is obvious that Boulder City residents will be asked to finance another bond for this project, with zero benefits to Boulder City.

Let’s not be the cash cow for SNWA. Logic indicates that this would not be good for us but great for our over-the-hill neighbors.

Greg T. Todd is a member of the Boulder City Utility Advisory Committee. He retired from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power after 26 years, where he worked on high-voltage substations, water and reclaimed-water pumping plants and hydro stations.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Inflation fueled by rising oil costs

What do the rising price of meat products, dairy products, vegetables, cereal and nearly everything in the hardware store, including lumber, have in common? Oil. A barrel of oil is refined into diesel, gasoline, jet fuel and aviation gas. It is utilized in manufacturing plastics, synthetic materials, asphalt, lubricants, roofing, trash bags and the list goes on. Therefore, when the cost of a barrel of oil increases, the cost of goods increases through the manufacturing or the delivery of these products.

Pipeline might save drought-ridden West

I was first introduced to Lake Mead in the summer of 1968 when my father took a job in Henderson, moving us from Long Beach, California. His boss took us to the boat ramp of the Las Vegas Wash, about 10 miles from Henderson. I spent my freshman and sophomore years at Basic High School, which is now Burkholder Middle School.

Call issued for common-sense gun laws

I had a very different column planned for this month, something light, about summer activities. Then on the day of this writing, May 24, 2022, a young man in Uvalde, Texas, took the lives of 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School. My other piece went completely out the window because I knew I needed to write about this. I am the mother of two young children, and I am terrified.

River compact needs re-evaluation

We live in Boulder City, the city that built Hoover Dam. The Boulder Canyon Project Act was the legislation creating Boulder City as well as Boulder Dam. It is located in Black Canyon adjacent to Boulder City, Nevada. The dam is now called Hoover Dam. Life is like that, isn’t it? We have our desires along with reality, don’t we?

Waste not, want not

In July 2017, Boulder City received some really great news that I wanted to share. The Southern Nevada Health District had just approved our latest landfill expansion, the second one that I helped to obtain while serving on SNHD’s board.

It’s voting time

Nevada’s 2022 primary election day is just more than two weeks away, but voting has begun. Early voting started Saturday, and mail ballots were sent May 25 to every Nevada active registered voter.

Cheers to Johnny

My bio references “another lifetime” and being a working comedian. Today I feel moved to share with you the inspiration behind working stand-up and an important anniversary just passed.

Goodbye never easy to say

Goodbyes are hard.