Stormwater management and best management practices (BMPs) are general terms that describe actions taken to prevent stormwater pollution. This includes cleaning oil spills on outside areas, providing secondary containment for liquid containers, or even picking up trash. The goal is to prevent contaminants from reaching our drinking water.
Stormwater compliance affects everyone in the Las Vegas Valley. This is because it directly affects the quality of our main source of drinking water: Lake Mead.
Stormwater compliance is even more important in the desert because we have limited resources of water. With Lake Mead being our main source, we must all play our part in keeping our water clean.
This is because large deposits of sediment can cause a multitude of problems. This includes blocking stormwater drains which leads to street flooding and additional maintenance costs; rivers becoming blocked with silt which leads to increased turbidity, loss of habitats, and increased risk of flooding; and lastly, large deposits of sediment in our water increases the risk of algal blooms. Further the disturbance of the desert crust from construction makes it more susceptible to erosion.
When improperly stored, hazardous waste and chemicals could potentially be spilled and eventually end up in Lake Mead. For this reason, it’s important that all hazardous waste and chemicals are properly closed and stored in secondary containment when not in use. It is also required in the stormwater permit.
All industrial sites in the Las Vegas Valley must comply with stormwater regulations per the requirements of the Las Vegas Valley Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit, and any site can be inspected by local jurisdictions to ensure they are following the stormwater regulations. The purpose is to minimize the amount of contaminants entering our water from businesses.
Following the NDOT audit by the EPA in 2014, where NDOT was substantially fined for not developing an adequate stormwater management plan, Las Vegas Valley jurisdictions has incremented their stormwater management efforts to ensure they are meeting their MS4 permit requirements. This was accomplished by forming the Stormwater Management Plan or SWMP. What this means for businesses is increased stormwater inspections to ensure compliance with the permit.
For general information regarding how you can stay in compliance, visit Clark County’s website at www.clarkcountynv.gov/water-quality/.
The purpose of a fiber roll is to filter out any fine particles that may be in water, such as sediment. However, they are not for controlling oil spills. Instead, use absorbent socks to properly catch and absorb oil that is spilled from your containers.