Water quality has become a concern all over the nation for the past few years. While in some areas this has led to a crisis situation, in most places it’s a positive thing. People are becoming ever more aware of what they put in their bodies. Cities and states all over the nation are beginning to issue water quality evaluations and reports to improve transparency and make their customers aware of what they can do to improve their own drinking and bathing water.
Las Vegas is no different, issuing annual water quality reports that outline the state of the water in various districts across the region. Let’s take a bit to examine the water quality in Las Vegas, the good and problematic, and find out what you can do to improve the quality of the water you drink and use to wash.
Water Quality in Las Vegas
Safe drinking water is essential for our overall health and well-being. We all like to think that our tap water is safe to drink, but recent reports from all over the nation have cast some doubt on that. It’s important to stay on top of water quality laws and the steps being taken to ensure that your drinking water is as safe as you expect it to be.
The Federal government has set out national standards for drinking water in the Safe Drinking Water Act, a law overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency, which sets the standards that all providers of water systems in the United States are required to meet.
Under the law, water supplies must be continually monitored for the presence of inorganic chemicals, metals, radiological components, viruses, bacteria, protozoans, pathogens, and organic chemicals. These must be either eliminated or kept within strict limits to be sure that water is always safe to drink.
In Nevada, these regulations are administered and enforced by the Nevada Bureau of Safe Drinking Water. This department is charged with ensuring that the Las Vegas area follows the federal requirements and maintains water quality in Las Vegas.
What Is a Water Assessment?
The Safe Drinking Water Act amendments of 1996 require states to develop and implement water assessments to analyze and address potential threats to the safety of drinking water. An assessment allows the state to identify the sources of drinking water, to inventory any potential sources of contamination, to determine how vulnerable water sources are to contamination sources and to inform the public of the final results.
These results are summarized in the state’s annual reports, which are made available to view in person by appointment at the Las Vegas Valley Water District.
What Are the Steps in Performing Source Water Assessments?
The state essentially follows four steps in conducting the source water assessment program. First, the water system sources are determined and each assessment area is delineated. Wells, for example, have an assessment area that is the area near the well within two, five and 10 years of pumping the well.
Next, an inventory of contamination sources is conducted. These include any sites that store or use chemicals, natural deposits and bodies of water. Third, each water system source is evaluated for its vulnerability to potential contaminants. Both the federal government and the state of Nevada maintain lists of regulated contaminants, and sources are evaluated for all state- and federally designated substances.
Finally, the results are published for each public water system. They are made available for viewing online or in person. In addition, these results are used in Source Water Protection Programs, which are always evaluated for improvement to protect valuable public water sources from contamination.
What Is Integrated Source Water Protection?
The source water protection programs implemented by the state are a coordinated and concerted effort to address the preventable contamination of state public drinking water. The majority of drinking water in Nevada is reliant upon groundwater, which is captured at wells and springs designated for public drinking sources. It takes far less effort, and less money, to protect these water supplies from contamination than it does to clean them after they are contaminated.
The Nevada Department of Environmental Protection (NDEP) has established an integrated source water protection program to enable every county to participate in these efforts. The NDEP will approach each county every 10 to 12 years to garner support for and interest in the development of county-level plans to address these issues. The department can then offer education and resources to help implement these plans.
By designating source water protection areas on maps, these areas can be overlaid with land planning and land zoning. This allows communities to spot potential contamination problems before they arise and to modify land use to address the issue. Regulatory measures can be taken to protect drinking water, as can non-regulatory measures.
There are a huge number of substances that can be considered groundwater contaminants. These can include household cleaning products and medications that aren’t properly disposed of. It can involve waste oil. Pet waste can be a contaminant, as can pesticides and fertilizers.
Businesses such as dry cleaners, salons, petroleum storage facilities, photo shops and even cemeteries can produce contamination chemicals. Landfills and power plants are also potential problem sources.
2018 Water Quality Report
The Las Vegas Valley 2018 Water Quality Report outlines the substances and average values of water quality in Las Vegas. It breaks substances down by average value as compared to maximum contaminant levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Fluoride, for example, has been a hot-button issue in water tables across the country over the past few years. In Las Vegas systems, the average levels equal 0.7 parts-per-million, which is far below the maximum 4.0 parts-per-million allowed by the EPA.
Interestingly, certain substances that have been in the news a great deal are not actually regulated by the EPA. Lead, for example, is listed as “N/A” on the MCL (maximum contaminant level) column of the report. Still, it is measured and has been found to be present in less than 0.3 parts-per-million in the Las Vegas water system, which should be well within acceptable safety limits.
It’s also important to understand that when talking about groundwater, various minerals and metals are going to be present — it’s almost impossible to have completely pure water of this type. When a substance is present in low ppm levels,however, that’s a solid sign that it is not a significant source of contamination.
How Can I Filter out Extra Contaminants?
If you’re looking to filter out additional contaminants from their water, there are a few steps you can take to obtain cleaner water and better overall health. After all, water is a necessity for survival, and clean water can help you and your family to avoid illnesses that are common to contaminated water systems, such as cholera, typhoid and hepatitis A.
Clean water also helps to flush toxins out of your body, keeping you healthier and making your body function more effectively in fighting disease.
Some things you can do to get the best quality tap water include: running it for a minute on cold if you haven’t used it in a few hours; using cold water for cooking and drinking; cleaning and replacing faucet strainers regularly; and paying attention to any chemical or metallic smells or tastes in the water. Installing a home water filtration system can also be an excellent step.
Installing a Home Water Filtration System
Even though the water quality in Las Vegas Valley looks well within safety standards, installing a home water filtration system is an excellent next step to further improve the quality of your drinking water. It can filter out additional chemicals and toxins, make your water taste better and even help to protect appliances from damage by the metal and mineral deposits found in hard water.
Because of this, more homeowners are turning towards home filtration systems. Check your options to be sure you’re making the right choice. You’ll want one that is the perfect size to handle your home water system and that is capable of regenerating based either on demand or on a timed schedule. On-demand regeneration is better than timed in terms of pure efficiency.
Finally, you’ll want a system with the best possible filtration and purification. It needs to be able to filter out not just hard minerals, but contaminants such as iron, sediment, chlorine, bacteria and viruses.
Drinking Water Systems From EcoWater
If you’re looking for the best in water filtration and purification systems that provide outstanding water quality in Las Vegas, EcoWater Systems can help. We offer a complete selection of drinking water systems, water treatment options, services and solutions to deliver the very best, highest-quality drinking water to the entire Las Vegas area.
We have been helping people in this region get the best quality water since 1925, and we are among the largest manufacturers of water treatment systems in the nation. Learn more about who we are, and get in touch for a water systems assessment today.