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Residents concerned over chemicals used to treat waste water

Molly Waldron

Residents concerned over chemicals used to treat waste water

CREATED Feb. 29, 2012

Along with concerns about growing islands of algae and swarms of bugs, people living along the five-mile stretch of the Sloan Flood Channel have a new worry: the chemicals that may have to be used to control the problems.

 
Neighbor Cliff Chapman has this warning for the city leaders in North Las Vegas: "All I can say is, I don't think they can get enough security around their treatment plant."
 
Threats of violence and a class action lawsuit came from folks like Chapman at a special meeting in North Las Vegas Tuesday night. Frustrated neighbors complained about the stinky islands of algae and swarms of bugs in the Sloan Flood Channel and the chemicals that may have to be used to treat them. The bugs and green growth are the unforeseen consequences of treated wastewater that's been flowing from a new treatment plant in North Las Vegas into the county since May.
 
Chapman asks, "What harmful effects are my grandkids.. living in there gong to experience in the next five to 10 years?"
 
North Las Vegas and Clark County can't talk about their channel battle because of pending lawsuits. Angry Sloan neighbors have turned to Action New for help.
 
The problem is so new we had a tough time figuring out who was responsible. We finally located a state spokesman with the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection who said inspectors were sent out several weeks ago to take a look at the Sloan Channel didn't find any problems. However, when we told him that the green handfuls of matter had grown into big, stationary islands of green gook, he said, they'll send the inspectors back out.
 
Meanwhile, UNLV'S Dr. David Wong says residents shouldn't worry. The environmental researcher studies water safety and says, ".. so far, based on all the monitoring data, so far so good, and we are leading the country."
 
Wong says no state or federal guidelines regulate algae, but in the short term, chemicals regulated by federal guidelines can control it's growth and the bugs that feed on it. Wong says the long-term solution is to control the nutrients that are feeding the algae that is feeding the bugs.
 
So what's feeding the algae?
 
Action News intends to pose that question to the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection after the next inspection in the coming weeks. We will keep you posted.
 

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