Las Vegas Turn To Tv To Teach Storm Water Lessons
Creating television programs to teach the public about storm water pollution is a new feature of the Clark County Regional Flood Control District Stormwater Quality Management Committee’s responsibility.
In cooperation with the local municipalities, the Stormwater Quality Management Committee has produced several Public Service Announcements (PSAs) for television and radio about stormwater pollution.
These PSAs have been featured on the local TV channels as well as the Clark County Community Channel, Cable Channel 4.
A PSA on spring cleaning promoted the proper disposal of household chemicals including paint, paint thinner, herbicides, and pesticides.
This year, the committee has produced PSAs about car washing, fertilizer and pet waste and how to keep them from entering the storm water and ending up in Lake Mead, which supplies the drinking water for the city of Las Vegas and surrounding communities.
The committee hopes to promote the use of commercial car washes that capture and recycle waste water. Water runoff from washing cars on streets allows soap and oil residue to flow into storm drains via streets and gutters.
The largest source of stormwater pollution in Southern Nevada results from everyday activities, the committee says. Anything dumped or dropped on the ground or in the gutter contributes to stormwater pollution, so the Clark County Regional Flood Control District hopes to teach the public not to discard pollutants.
The most common pollutants are trash, such as fast-food wrappers, cigarette butts, and styrofoam containers as well as toxins such as used motor oil, antifreeze, fertilizer, pesticides, and sewage overflow.
These pollutants are picked up as water from rain, hoses, and sprinklers, drains from streets, parking lots, and lawns and enters the 66,000 catch basins throughout Las Vegas and Southern Nevada.
From there, this untreated “toxic soup” flows through a massive system of pipes and open channels straight to the Las Vegas Wash.
During a storm event, water runoff is carried by the Las Vegas storm drain system directly into the Las Vegas Wash, which drains to Lake Mead.
Contaminated stormwater receives no treatment because of the sheer volume of runoff from an area encompassing 1,600 square miles. The committee says that the cost of treating Clark County’s storm water would be so high that it would exceed available resources.
Provided by the Environmental News Service.