Stormwater Management

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Most of our rainwater travels through gutters, storm drains, channels, washes and eventually into the major source of our drinking water, Lake Mead. The largest source of stormwater pollution in Southern Nevada results from every day activities. The most common pollutants are:

  • Trash (fast-food wrappers, cigarette butts, styrofoam cups, etc.)2 sewer systems
  • Toxins (used motor oil, antifreeze, fertilizer, pesticides, sewage overflow, pet droppings, etc.)

These pollutants are picked up as water (from rain, hoses, sprinklers, etc.) drains from streets, parking lots, and lawns to the storm drain system made up of catch basins/drop inlets, pipes, and open channels throughout the Las Vegas Valley. Polluted urban runoff entering the storm drain system is conveyed straight to the Las Vegas Wash untreated.

Anything dumped or dropped on the ground or in the gutter contributes to stormwater pollution.

The District, in cooperation with Clark County and the cities of Henderson, Las Vegas and North Las Vegas (collectively known as Permittees), participates in developing and implementing a comprehensive stormwater quality management program for the Las Vegas Valley.

Stormdrain with rainwater and litter smallThe stormwater program is governed by a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit (NPDES) issued by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency oversees the permit. It requires Permittees to implement a variety of monitoring requirements and compliance actions designed to protect the Las Vegas Wash and Lake Mead from stormwater pollution.  The Permittees were required to develop and implement a Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP).  The current SWMP was developed in 2003 and outlines the programs and best management practices necessary to comply with the permit.

The Stormwater Quality Management Committee (SQMC) is a community partnership committed to the development and implementation of stormwater pollution monitoring, control and outreach efforts within the Las Vegas Valley.  The SQMC was formed to manage program development and compliance activities under the State issued NPDES permit.

The permit authorizes discharge of stormwater to the Las Vegas Wash from storm sewer systems owned and operated by the cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson and Clark County in return for implementation of certain stormwater pollution reducing activities by the permittees.

For a copy of the 2018-2019 Annual Report, click on the following link:

For a copy of of the Las Vegas Valley Construction Site Best Management Practices Guidance Manual, click on the following link:

For more information about the Las Vegas Valley Stormwater Program, you may visit the following links: