Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



This study developed from observations made during an earlier study on Lake Mead which was reported in CHE-70, Water Quality Study of Lake Mead. Results from that study indicated that poor-quality water was flowing into the Las Vegas Bay reach of Boulder Basin, Lake Mead. Also reports of deteriorating water quality, resulting in taste and odors in domestic water supplies taken from Boulder Basin as well as a reduction in the attractiveness of Las Vegas Bay for recreational uses caused by aquatic plants and algae blooms, indicated a need for a concentrated study concerning the effects of flows from Las Vegas Wash upon the water quality in Boulder Basin.

The principal sources of water into Las Vegas Wash are effluents from the Clark County sewage treatment plant and the Las Vegas City sewage treatment plant. Minor sources are waste from two power stations operated by Nevada Power Company, irrigation return and watershed runoff during periods of precipitation. Thus the water in Las Vegas Wash is mainly effluent from sewage treatment plants. The water from the Wash flows into Las Vegas Bay, an arm of the Boulder Basin reach of Lake Mead.

It was determined that such a study should be conducted to describe selected water quality parameters in Las Vegas Wash, Las Vegas Bay, and Boulder Basin during different seasons. By this means, it would be possible to delineate adverse quality factors and their causes.

The main objectives of this study are to describe the water quality in Las Vegas Wash and the affect of that water on the water quality in Boulder Basin, Lake Mead.


Aquatic pollution; Bacteria; Boulder Basin (Ariz.-Nev.); Chlorophyll; Effluent quality; Freshwater pollution; Green algae; Las Vegas Wash (Nev.); Sewage disposal plants; Wastewater reclamation


Biology | Desert Ecology | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Monitoring | Environmental Sciences | Fresh Water Studies | Natural Resources Management and Policy | Sustainability | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology | Water Resource Management