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Las Vegas Valley Water District Water Quality Report 2017

Graphic of pipes below the Las Vegas Strip.

We're all connected through water.

Just as Las Vegas never sleeps, neither does the Las Vegas Valley Water District. The quality and reliability of your water is our priority: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

When you serve tap water, you can do so with confidence:

WATER DELIVERED BY THE LAS VEGAS VALLEY WATER DISTRICT MEETS OR SURPASSES ALL STATE OF NEVADA AND FEDERAL SAFE DRINKING WATER ACT STANDARDS.

Our team of highly skilled operators, engineers, technical experts and administrative staff works to deliver water to you across 300 square miles of the valley and through 6,500 miles of pipelines. Your water flows through one of the most technologically advanced municipal water systems in the nation.

No matter how many miles we cover or tests we perform, though, we know that one thing matters to you: your water quality. Read on to understand where your water comes from, what's in it, how it's treated and delivered and more. You'll find additional water-quality analyses and summaries on our water quality reports page. All are based on data collected during the 2016 calendar year, unless noted otherwise.

We are committed to Southern Nevada and delivering your water safely and reliably. If you have questions, please email us or see the For More Information section below for more consumer resources.

Nearly 90 percent of your water comes from Lake Mead. Nearly all of the lake's water originates as snow-melt in the Rocky Mountains that flows down the Colorado River.

The remaining water—about 10 percent—comes from wells that tap a deep groundwater aquifer beneath the Las Vegas Valley. That aquifer is naturally replenished by precipitation in the Spring Mountains and the Sheep Range.

Groundwater is used mainly May 1-Oct. 1 each year to meet peak water demand. Some groundwater wells also may operate Oct. 1-March 31 to optimize resources and minimize levels of trihalomethane, a treatment by-product. This helps the Water District ensure compliance with water-quality standards. If you live or work within several miles of the Water District's offices at Charleston and Valley View boulevards, or in the northwest valley, you may receive a blend of groundwater and treated Lake Mead water.

In 2016, we collected and monitored more than 56,400 water samples from Lake Mead, our distribution system and 367 additional sampling stations. Some stations are above ground; others are installed in customers' meter boxes to help ensure water quality is maintained all the way to your tap.

We conducted more than 287,600 analyses of these water samples in 2016. We go beyond state and federal requirements to ensure water quality and safety.

We treat water drawn from Lake Mead—according to the health-based standards of the Safe Drinking Water Act—at the regional Southern Nevada Water Authority's two advanced water treatment facilities.

State-of-the-art ozonation is the primary treatment: Ozone provides a very powerful disinfectant that destroys bacteria, Cryptosporidium and other microscopic organisms that may be present. We also use a multistage filtration system to remove particles from the water. As water leaves the treatment facilities, we add chlorine to protect it on the way to your tap. Additional corrosion-control efforts help maintain water quality through the district's water distribution system.

Because water drawn from the Las Vegas Valley groundwater aquifer is naturally filtered, it is simply treated with chlorine as it enters the distribution system.

Under the Water-Quality Test Results heading below, you'll view results of our 2016 testing and analyses. We monitored for 91 regulated contaminants as required by the U.S. EPA. Of these 91, 76 have "primary" standards and are listed in this report if they were detected in our water supply.

Learn more by visiting lvvwd.com for a complete Water Quality Summary, which shows all monitoring results, including information beyond what is required in this report. Or, contact our Water Quality Division at 702-258-3215.

Many large water systems, including ours, also must monitor for certain constituents that the EPA is considering for potential regulation. We provide this information to the EPA, and you may view it in the "Additional Test Results" chart on the following page, in compliance with the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule.

In 2016, we also monitored for more than 75 unregulated contaminants, including substances such as pharmaceutical compounds and perchlorate, which currently have no "limits." We also monitor for Cryptosporidium. The EPA requires water systems that treat surface water to ensure removal of this naturally occurring organism that can cause gastrointestinal distress. Cryptosporidium was not detected in any 2016 source (untreated) water samples.

These terms are used in the table of water-quality test results.

Action Level: The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements that a water system must follow.

AMSWTF: Alfred Merritt Smith Water Treatment Facility

Disinfection by-product (DBP): A substance created by the chemicals or processes used to destroy potentially harmful microorganisms.

Locational running annual average: The average of sample results taken at a particular monitoring location for the previous four consecutive quarters.

Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL): The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology.

Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG): The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety.

Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL): The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.

Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal (MRDLG): The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contamination.

N/A: Not applicable

N/D: Not detected. Does not equate to zero, but refers to an amount below analytical reporting limits.

Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (NTU): A measurement of water's clarity.

Ozonation: An advanced water treatment process that involves the addition of ozone, a very powerful gaseous disinfectant, to water to destroy bacteria, Cryptosporidium and other pathogens. Ozonation processes began at AMSWTF and RMWTF in 2003.

Part per billion (ppb): A unit used to describe the levels of detected contaminants. Equivalent to 1 cent in $10 million.

Part per million (ppm): A unit used to describe the levels of detected contaminants. Equivalent to 1 cent in $10,000.

Picocuries per liter (pCi/L): A measure of the radioactivity in water. Low levels of radiation occur naturally in many water systems, including the Colorado River.

RMWTF: River Mountains Water Treatment Facility

Running annual average: The average of sample results for 12 consecutive months or four consecutive quarters, based on the monitoring requirements.

Treatment Technique: A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.

Turbidity: A measure of water clarity, which serves as an indicator of the treatment facility's performance.

Las Vegas Valley Water District Distribution System (1)
Regulated Contaminants Unit MCL (EPA Limit) MCLG (EPA Goal) Minimum Maximum Average Possible Sources of Contamination
Alpha Particles pCi/L 15 0 Entry Point Monitoring Only Entry Point Monitoring Only Entry Point Monitoring Only Erosion of natural deposits of certain minerals that are radioactive and may emit a form of radiation known as alpha radiation
Arsenic ppb 10 0 Entry Point Monitoring Only Entry Point Monitoring Only Entry Point Monitoring Only Erosion of natural deposits
Barium ppm 2 2 Entry Point Monitoring Only Entry Point Monitoring Only Entry Point Monitoring Only Erosion of natural deposits; discharge from metal refineries; discharge of drilling wastes
Bromate ppb 10 0 Entry Point Monitoring Only Entry Point Monitoring Only Entry Point Monitoring Only By-product of drinking-water disinfection by ozonation
Copper ppm 1.3(5)
(Action Level)
1.3 0.1 1.2 0.8
(90th% value)
Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits
Cyanide, Free ppb 200 200 Entry Point Monitoring Only Entry Point Monitoring Only Entry Point Monitoring Only Discharge from steel/metal factories; discharge from plastic and fertilizer factories
Di(2-ethylhexyl)Phthalate ppb 6 0 Entry Point Monitoring Only Entry Point Monitoring Only Entry Point Monitoring Only Discharge from chemical and rubber factories
Fluoride ppm 4.0 4.0 0.2 0.7 0.6 Erosion of natural deposits; water additive(6)
Free Chlorine Residual ppm 4.0(7)
(MRDL)
4.0(7)
(MRDLG)
0.1 1.6 1.0(4) Water additive used to control microbes
Haloacetic Acids ppb 60 N/A(8) N/D 35 29(9) By-product of drinking-water disinfection
Lead ppb 15(5)
(Action Level)
0 N/D 7.5 2.6
(90th% value)
Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits
Nitrate (as Nitrogen) ppm 10 10 Entry Point Monitoring Only Entry Point Monitoring Only Entry Point Monitoring Only Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of natural deposits
Radium 226 and
Radium 228
(combined)
pCi/L 5 0 Entry Point Monitoring Only Entry Point Monitoring Only Entry Point Monitoring Only Erosion of natural deposits
Selenium ppb 50 50 Entry Point Monitoring Only Entry Point Monitoring Only Entry Point Monitoring Only Erosion of natural deposits; discharge from mines; component of petroleum
Total Coliforms percent positive per month 5% 0 0% 0.3% 0.1% Naturally present in the environment
Total Trihalomethanes ppb 80 N/A(8) 3 76 71(9) By-product of drinking-water disinfection
Turbidity NTU 95% of samples <0.3 NTU(11) N/A Treatment Facility Monitoring Only Treatment Facility Monitoring Only Treatment Facility Monitoring Only Soil runoff
Uranium ppb 30 0 Entry Point Monitoring Only Entry Point Monitoring Only Entry Point Monitoring Only Erosion of natural deposits
Additional Test Results (Data from 2014)
In compliance with the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR), these results represent levels of monitored contaminants in the treated water supply, based on 2014 data.
Monitored Contaminants Unit MCL (EPA Limit) MCLG (EPA Goal) Minimum Maximum Average Possible Sources of Contamination
Chlorate(12) ppb N/A N/A N/D 240 80 Agriculture defoliant or desiccant; by-product of disinfection; and used in production of chlorine dioxide
Chromium (Total)(12) ppb 100(13) 100(13) N/D 1.1 0.27 See chromium-6 for source information; the amount measured when analyzing "total chromium" is the sum of all its valence states
Chromium-6(12) ppb N/A N/A 0.05 0.85 0.20 Naturally occurring element; used in making steel and other alloys; chromium-6 forms are used for chrome plating, dyes and pigments, leather tanning and wood preservation
Molybdenum(12) ppb N/A N/A N/D 5 4 Naturally occurring element found in ores and present in plants, animals and bacteria
Strontium(12) ppm N/A N/A 0.53 1.2 0.96 Naturally occurring element
Testosterone(12) ppb N/A N/A N/D 0.0001 N/D Androgenic steroid naturally produced in the human body; and used in pharmaceuticals
Vanadium(12) ppb N/A N/A 1.2 2.6 1.8 Naturally occurring element
Las Vegas Valley Water District Groundwater (Wells) (1)
Regulated Contaminants Unit MCL (EPA Limit) MCLG (EPA Goal) Minimum Maximum Possible Sources of Contamination
Alpha Particles pCi/L 15 0 N/D(2) 12(2) Erosion of natural deposits of certain minerals that are radioactive and may emit a form of radiation known as alpha radiation
Arsenic ppb 10 0 N/D(2) 4(2) Erosion of natural deposits
Barium ppm 2 2 0.03(2) 0.09(2) Erosion of natural deposits; discharge from metal refineries; discharge of drilling wastes
Bromate ppb 10 0 N/A (groundwater is not treated with ozone) N/A (groundwater is not treated with ozone) By-product of drinking-water disinfection by ozonation
Copper ppm 1.3(5)
(Action Level)
1.3 Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits
Cyanide, Free ppb 200 200 N/D(2) N/D(2) Discharge from steel/metal factories; discharge from plastic and fertilizer factories
Di(2-ethylhexyl)Phthalate ppb 6 0 N/D N/D Discharge from chemical and rubber factories
Fluoride ppm 4.0 4.0 0.2(2) 0.5(2) Erosion of natural deposits; water additive(6)
Free Chlorine Residual ppm 4.0(7)
(MRDL)
4.0(7)
(MRDLG)
Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Water additive used to control microbes
Haloacetic Acids ppb 60 N/A(8) Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only By-product of drinking-water disinfection
Lead ppb 15(5)
(Action Level)
0 Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits
Nitrate (as Nitrogen) ppm 10 10 0.3 7.5(10) Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of natural deposits
Radium 226 and
Radium 228
(combined)
pCi/L 5 0 N/D(2) 1.2(2) Erosion of natural deposits
Selenium ppb 50 50 N/D(2) 4 Erosion of natural deposits; discharge from mines; component of petroleum
Total Coliforms percent positive per month 5% 0 Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Naturally present in the environment
Total Trihalomethanes ppb 80 N/A(8) Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only By-product of drinking-water disinfection
Turbidity NTU 95% of samples <0.3 NTU(11) N/A Treatment Facility Monitoring Only Treatment Facility Monitoring Only Soil runoff
Uranium ppb 30 0 2(2) 4(2) Erosion of natural deposits
Alfred Merritt Smith Water Treatment Facility (1)
Regulated Contaminants Unit MCL (EPA Limit) MCLG (EPA Goal) Minimum Maximum Average Possible Sources of Contamination
Alpha Particles pCi/L 15 0 3.5 3.9 3.7 Erosion of natural deposits of certain minerals that are radioactive and may emit a form of radiation known as alpha radiation
Arsenic ppb 10 0 2 2 2 Erosion of natural deposits
Barium ppm 2 2 0.1 0.1 0.1 Erosion of natural deposits; discharge from metal refineries; discharge of drilling wastes
Bromate ppb 10 0 2 11(3) 6(4) By-product of drinking-water disinfection by ozonation
Copper ppm 1.3(5)
(Action Level)
1.3 Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits
Cyanide, Free ppb 200 200 N/D 2 N/D Discharge from steel/metal factories; discharge from plastic and fertilizer factories
Di(2-ethylhexyl)Phthalate ppb 6 0 N/D 0.9 N/D Discharge from chemical and rubber factories
Fluoride ppm 4.0 4.0 0.7 0.7 0.7 Erosion of natural deposits; water additive(6)
Free Chlorine Residual ppm 4.0(7)
(MRDL)
4.0(7)
(MRDLG)
Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Water additive used to control microbes
Haloacetic Acids ppb 60 N/A(8) Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only By-product of drinking-water disinfection
Lead ppb 15(5)
(Action Level)
0 Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits
Nitrate (as Nitrogen) ppm 10 10 0.3 0.5 0.4 Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of natural deposits
Radium 226 and
Radium 228
(combined)
pCi/L 5 0 0.6 0.9 0.7 Erosion of natural deposits
Selenium ppb 50 50 2 3 3 Erosion of natural deposits; discharge from mines; component of petroleum
Total Coliforms percent positive per month 5% 0 Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Naturally present in the environment
Total Trihalomethanes ppb 80 N/A(8) Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only By-product of drinking-water disinfection
Turbidity NTU 95% of samples <0.3 NTU(11) N/A 100% of samples were below 0.3 NTU. Maximum NTU was 0.212 on Dec. 15, 2016. 100% of samples were below 0.3 NTU. Maximum NTU was 0.212 on Dec. 15, 2016. 100% of samples were below 0.3 NTU. Maximum NTU was 0.212 on Dec. 15, 2016. Soil runoff
Uranium ppb 30 0 4 4 4 Erosion of natural deposits
River Mountains Water Treatment Facility (1)
Regulated Contaminants Unit MCL (EPA Limit) MCLG (EPA Goal) Minimum Maximum Average Possible Sources of Contamination
Alpha Particles pCi/L 15 0 2.5 4.8 3.6 Erosion of natural deposits of certain minerals that are radioactive and may emit a form of radiation known as alpha radiation
Arsenic ppb 10 0 2 2 2 Erosion of natural deposits
Barium ppm 2 2 0.1 0.1 0.1 Erosion of natural deposits; discharge from metal refineries; discharge of drilling wastes
Bromate ppb 10 0 3 11(3) 9(4) By-product of drinking-water disinfection by ozonation
Copper ppm 1.3(5)
(Action Level)
1.3 Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits
Cyanide, Free ppb 200 200 N/D N/D N/D Discharge from steel/metal factories; discharge from plastic and fertilizer factories
Di(2-ethylhexyl)Phthalate ppb 6 0 N/D N/D N/D Discharge from chemical and rubber factories
Fluoride ppm 4.0 4.0 0.6 0.7 0.7 Erosion of natural deposits; water additive(6)
Free Chlorine Residual ppm 4.0(7)
(MRDL)
4.0(7)
(MRDLG)
Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Water additive used to control microbes
Haloacetic Acids ppb 60 N/A(8) Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only By-product of drinking-water disinfection
Lead ppb 15(5)
(Action Level)
0 Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits
Nitrate (as Nitrogen) ppm 10 10 0.3 0.5 0.4 Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of natural deposits
Radium 226 and
Radium 228
(combined)
pCi/L 5 0 N/D 0.2 N/D Erosion of natural deposits
Selenium ppb 50 50 2 3 3 Erosion of natural deposits; discharge from mines; component of petroleum
Total Coliforms percent positive per month 5% 0 Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Naturally present in the environment
Total Trihalomethanes ppb 80 N/A(8) Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only Distribution System Monitoring Only By-product of drinking-water disinfection
Turbidity NTU 95% of samples <0.3 NTU(11) N/A 100% of samples were below 0.3 NTU. Maximum NTU was 0.054 on Aug. 12, 2016. 100% of samples were below 0.3 NTU. Maximum NTU was 0.054 on Aug. 12, 2016. 100% of samples were below 0.3 NTU. Maximum NTU was 0.054 on Aug. 12, 2016. Soil runoff
Uranium ppb 30 0 4 4 4 Erosion of natural deposits
Footnotes:
  1. Some Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) regulations require monitoring from the distribution system, while other SDWA regulations require monitoring at the entry points to the distribution system (LVVWD wells, AMSWTF, RMWTF).
  2. Annual monitoring not required, data from 2014.
  3. Maximum levels greater than the MCL are allowable as long as the running annual average does not exceed the MCL.
  4. This value is the highest running annual average reported in 2016. Reports are filed quarterly.
  5. Lead and copper are regulated by a Treatment Technique (TT) that requires systems to control the corrosiveness of their water. If more than 10% of tap-water samples exceed the Action Level, water systems must take additional steps. For copper the Action Level is 1.3 ppm, and for lead it is 15 ppb.
  6. By state law, the Southern Nevada Water Authority is required to fluoridate the municipal water supply. This law is not applicable to groundwater.
  7. Chlorine is regulated by MRDL, with the goal stated as a MRDLG.
  8. No collective MCLG but there are MCLGs for some of the individual contaminants. Haloacetic Acids: dichloroacetic acid (0), trichloroacetic acid (300 ppb); Trihalomethanes: bromodichloromethane (0), bromoform (0), dibromochloromethane (60 ppb).
  9. This value is the highest locational running annual average reported in 2016. Reports are filed quarterly.
  10. While your drinking water meets EPA standards for nitrate, it does contain low levels of nitrate. Nitrate in drinking water at levels above 10 ppm is a health risk for infants of less than six months of age. High nitrate levels in drinking water can cause blue baby syndrome. Nitrate levels may rise quickly for short periods of time because of rainfall or agriculture activity. If you are caring for an infant, you should ask for advice from your health care provider.
  11. Turbidity is regulated by a Treatment Technique (TT) requirement: 95% of all samples taken after filtration each month must be less than 0.3 NTU. Maximum turbidity cannot exceed 1.0 NTU.
  12. Monitoring for this contaminant was conducted to comply with the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR) set by the U.S. EPA Safe Drinking Water Act. Per the rule, monitoring is conducted within the Distribution System only. Unregulated contaminant monitoring helps the U.S. EPA to determine where certain contaminants occur and whether the Agency should consider regulating those contaminants in the future. With the exception of Chromium (Total), these contaminants have no MCLs or MCLGs.
  13. Monitoring for this regulated contaminant was performed under the UCMR3 at lower detection limits than are required under current monitoring rules. Monitoring for Chromium (Total), in conjunction with UCMR3 Assessment Monitoring, is required under the authority provided in Section 1445 (a)(1)(A) of the SDWA.

Back to Test Results

All water originates from a source. Sources for both tap water and bottled water include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves minerals and—in some cases—other contaminants, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity.

Tap water, as well as bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants—any substances that are not H2O. It's important to understand that the presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk—particularly in light of claims made by some home water-treatment companies and reports about water quality or the environment

Before the Las Vegas Valley Water District delivers your tap water, it undergoes a multistage treatment process. We test your water rigorously to ensure it meets strict Safe Drinking Water Act standards. Our goal is to effectively treat and manage contaminants that may be present in source (untreated) water, including:

  • Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from wastewater discharges or animal wastes from urban or agricultural runoff;
  • Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can occur naturally or result from industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, farming or mining;
  • Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from urban storm-water runoff from agricultural and residential uses;
  • Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic or volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and can come from gas stations, industrial discharges and storm-water runoff;
  • Radioactive contaminants, which can occur naturally or as a result of industrial activities.

To ensure tap-water safety, EPA regulations limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. Learn more by calling the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791 or the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection at 775-687-9520.

Food and Drug Administration regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water, which must provide similar protection for public health.

The federal Safe Drinking Water Act was amended in 1996 and requires states to develop and implement source water assessment programs to analyze existing and potential threats to the quality of public drinking water throughout the state. A summary of the Las Vegas Valley Water District's susceptibility to potential sources of contamination was initially provided by the state of Nevada in 2003. The summary of this source water assessment was first included in the LVVWD 2004 Water Quality Report and now may be accessed on our water quality reports page.

Detailed information pertaining to the findings of the source water assessment is available for viewing in person Monday-Thursday, by appointment, at the Las Vegas Valley Water District, 1001 S. Valley View Blvd. Please call 702-258-3215 for an appointment. Additional information about the Nevada Source Water Assessment Program may be found at ndep.nv.gov.

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Those with compromised immune systems such as cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, people who have had organ transplants, those with HIV/AIDS or other immune-system disorders, some elderly and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice from their health-care providers about drinking water.

Call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791 for Environmental Protection Agency/Centers for Disease Control guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants.

How Hard Is My Water?

Our valley's water is considered "very hard"—like many Western cities' water supplies. Hardness is about 302 parts per million (ppm) or 18 grains per gallon. Hard water results from high levels of dissolved, nontoxic minerals—in our case, calcium and magnesium carried into Lake Mead from the mineral-dense Colorado River. These minerals don't pose health risks or impact water quality but may influence water's taste.

Why Might My Water Appear Cloudy?

Your drinking water might sometimes look "cloudy" or "milky." This cloudiness can occur when air becomes trapped in the water as it travels through pipelines, which are pressurized. While this may impact the water's appearance, it does not affect its safety or harm your household plumbing.

It's easy to test whether cloudy water is due to trapped air. Fill a glass with tap water and set it on your counter. Observe the water for a minute or two. As the air dissipates, water should start to clear up.

Can I Improve Water's Taste?

Naturally occurring minerals make our drinking water hard and may impact its taste. We also chlorine when we treat water to help protect the water supply. However, chlorine's taste may not appeal to you. Boost flavor by putting a pitcher of tap water in the refrigerator. This allows the chlorine to dissipate. You also can add a lemon or orange slice to your glass for zest. For a few dollars more, try an inexpensive activated carbon filter (like those in carafe systems) to improve chlorine taste or odor perception. These filters do not remove hardness, minerals, sodium or fluoride.

Should I Use a Water-Treatment System?

Area tap water is well within the standards set by the Safe Drinking Water Act: While it's not necessary to buy a home water treatment system, supplemental systems may improve aesthetic qualities such as taste and hardness.

Make an informed choice: Contact the Southern Nevada Water Authority for a free Consumer Reports® filter buying guide and fact sheets on home water-treatment systems: Call 702-258-3930 or visit SNWA.com.

Should I Be Concerned About Lead?

While news about lead contamination issues affecting water customers outside of Nevada reinforces the importance of safe drinking-water standards, Southern Nevada's water infrastructure does not employ lead-based components.

In addition, local water providers maintain robust corrosion-control programs developed in coordination with the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. These efforts help maintain water quality by preventing possible contaminants from leaching into the water system. Inhibiting the corrosion process also helps extend the life of underground pipes, valves and other critical infrastructure used to deliver water to you. Learn more in our water quality section.

The state of Nevada and the EPA require public education for lead and copper, and the Water District monitors for both. Your water meets state and federal requirements for lead, but if present at elevated levels, lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. The Water District is responsible for providing high-quality drinking water but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. Older homes are more likely to have lead-based components.

When your water has been sitting for several hours, minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. If you are concerned about lead in your tap water, have your water tested by a private laboratory. For more information, call the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline, 800-426-4791, or visit epa.gov.

For more information, please attend meetings of the Las Vegas Valley Water District Board of Directors at 9 a.m. on the first Tuesday of every month. Meetings are open to the public, offer a public-comment period and are held at the Clark County Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Pkwy. In accordance with Nevada Open Meeting Law, agendas for regular meetings are properly posted and available at least three days before each meeting. Submit questions via our "Contact Us" form or by mail:

Las Vegas Valley Water District
Public Information Division
1001 S. Valley View Blvd., MS 780
Las Vegas, NV 89153

Mary Beth Scow, President
Steve Sisolak, Vice President

Susan Brager
Larry Brown
Chris Giunchigliani
Marilyn Kirkpatrick
Lawrence Weekly

John J. Entsminger, General Manager

Las Vegas Valley Water District

Environmental Protection Agency

Nevada Division of Environmental Protection

Este reporte contiene información muy importante acerca de la calidad del agua. Para recibir una copia en español, llame al 702-258-3946 o visita lvvwd.com.

The Las Vegas Valley Water District's mission is to provide world class water service in a sustainable, adaptive and responsible manner to our customers through reliable, cost-effective systems.

Our community has one of the country's most sophisticated municipal water-quality testing and treatment complexes to help ensure your water quality. Delivering that water to you requires reliability. For more than a half century, the Water District and its customers have been investing in one of the nation's most reliable water delivery systems. That investment has paid off. Instances of water main breaks in Southern Nevada are below the national average and our water system has an efficiency rating that is considered world-class. Learn more about the advanced water technologies that connect us all at lvvwd.com.

The Southern Nevada Water Authority and Las Vegas Valley Water District were one of just eight U.S. recipients of this 2016 award, presented by the AWWA's Partnership for Safe Water. The award recognizes both high treatment standards and optimal quality control at the regional Alfred Merritt Smith and River Mountains water treatment facilities. Learn more at awwa.org.