Under an engineering services contract awarded by the Clean Water Coalition (CWC), Black & Veatch is serving as the lead design engineer for the Systems Conveyance and Operations Program (SCOP) pipeline and tunnel project that will convey effluent from CWC member agencies’ wastewater treatment plants to a new discharge location in Lake Mead.
Removing the effluent from the Las Vegas Wash and redirecting the discharge location from Las Vegas Bay to a location near Boulder Island will protect the quality of the water in Lake Mead. The need for a new discharge location is driven by increasingly stringent water quality regulations, increasing effluent flows, protection of a drinking water source, protection of the Las Vegas Wash and Bay—especially at low lake levels caused by the drought—and continued reliance on Colorado River system return-flow credits earned by returning water to the river.
“Black & Veatch previously worked with the CWC to help develop and define SCOP, so the project team has a unique understanding of stakeholder interests and implementation complexities,” said CWC Project Administrator Douglas Karafa.
The Black & Veatch team will review the final designs of all the project elements and provide design support during construction. The company will also design the 7.5-mile tunnel through the River Mountain. In addition, Black & Veatch is responsible for preparing the geotechnical program required for detailed design, conducting the subsurface investigation program, determining the right-of-way requirements and performing the project survey.
The SCOP project is an important aspect of southern Nevada’s water resources management strategy. The CWC and the Southern Nevada Water Authority are coordinating the placement of a new potable water intake and the effluent discharge location to provide the best water quality while ensuring capacity for the future.
“The system under design will give the CWC maximum flexibility for managing treated effluent,” said Don Froehlich, Black & Veatch project director. “Completion of the SCOP project will enhance the water quality of Lake Mead for Valley residents, visitors and millions of downstream water users, despite increased effluent flows and decreased lake levels, and we’re delighted to be part of a program that will effectively serve the CWC member agencies.”