Alfred Merritt Smith Treatment Facility
Nearly 90 percent of our drinking water comes from the Colorado River via Lake Mead. The remainder comes from a deep groundwater aquifer beneath the Las Vegas Valley, which we use primarily during summer months to meet peak demand.
Water drawn from Lake Mead is treated at the Southern Nevada Water Authority's (SNWA) Alfred Merritt Smith Water Treatment Facility or the River Mountains Water Treatment Facility.
The treatment process begins with disinfection. Water is disinfected using ozonation, a treatment process that destroys bacteria and other microorganisms through an infusion of ozone. Ozone is a gas produced by subjecting oxygen molecules to high electrical voltages.
Next, the water is aerated to reduce odors and increase the water's oxygen content. Microscopic particles are then combined through a process called flocculation. These larger, combined particles are removed through the use of a multi-layered filter composed of anthracite coal, silica sand and garnet sand.
As the water leaves the water treatment facilities, chlorine is added to protect it on the way to customers' taps. It also is treated to minimize pipeline corrosion.
Because it is naturally filtered, water drawn from the groundwater basin is simply treated with chlorine as it enters the distribution system.
For more information, visit the Southern Nevada Water Authority website, snwa.com.