Northwest Water Resource Center Project

2002 Outstanding Project of the Year
Water Reuse Association

2002 Nevada Grand Conceptor Award
American Council of Engineering Companies of Nevada

2002 National Finalist Award
American Council of Engineering Companies

Las Vegas is the fastest growing community in the United States. With an average rainfall of only 4 inches per year, water resources are of primary concern to this growing city. The Northwest Water Resource Center (NWWRC) conserves scarce water resources while enhancing the local quality of life in Las Vegas. This water recycling facility saves up to 10 million gallons of water per day by treating and recycling municipal wastewater to irrigate large turf areas, including golf courses and parks.

Under the leadership of the City of Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Valley Water District, Greeley and Hansen helped first with identifying their recycled water needs and then with developing the strategy for the plant. The firm also designed the facility, which began operation in July 2001. The City of Las Vegas collects and treats the wastewater, and the Las Vegas Valley Water District oversees distribution of the recycled water.

Aesthetics and control of noise and odor were public concerns critical to the success of this project, which is located on a 100-acre site surrounded by new homes, restaurants, stores and a public recreation area. To address these public concerns, the facility design incorporates several good-neighbor features. As practicable, treatment facilities were constructed below grade and enclosed to further dampen noise. Odorous air is chemically scrubbed before discharge to the atmosphere. Plant buildings are designed to blend with community architectural aesthetics based on input from area residents.

In addition to providing good-neighbor features, Greeley and Hansen incorporated engineering designs that make water recycling less costly than potable water for large-scale irrigation. The plant is also designed with on-site recharge and recovery wells to address seasonal demand fluctuations, which range from 2.5 mgd in the winter to 22.5 mgd in the summer. During periods of peak demand, potable water recharged during winter months can be withdrawn from the aquifer and mixed with NWWRC treated water for distribution. The plant also provides a drought-resistant water source that will even enable limited irrigation during some periods of water restrictions.

Lower water costs and a reliable water supply were critical issues to the end users. Chemistry of the recycled water was another important factor. Greeley and Hansen worked with golf course managers to establish water chemistry that does not overfertilize or damage turf.

Water recycling facilities similar to the NWWRC are already being considered in Las Vegas and in several western states.


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