Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The Las Vegas Wash is best known for carrying water but neighbors on the east side of the valley have discovered plenty of trash.
People who live nearby are concerned the debris could enter the wash and eventually Lake Mead, the area's primary water source.
An old mattress, couch cushions, shopping carts, plenty of bottles and cans, even a voodoo doll; you name it, odds are we found it along the sides of the wash just south of Desert Inn Road.
"It wasn't like this the last two or three years, it wasn't this bad," said neighbor Larry Edwards.
Edwards said he has lived in the area for about three years and used to visit the wash with his grandchildren, but not anymore.
"Looks like a dump," Edwards said.
The Flamingo Arroyo Trail runs along the water and is popular among bikers and walkers. The debris covers several hundred feet along side the wash. A fed up neighbor emailed Action News about the problem.
"It's all kind of junk out here," Edwards said. "You don't know what it is."
While most of the debris appears on the banks of the wash, people we spoke with are concerned the trash could eventually enter the water with the next big rainfall.
"We want to do everything we can to keep those contaminants out," said Bronson Mack, spokesman for the Las Vegas Wash Coordination Committee. The organization is a group of stakeholders who are working to preserve the wetlands just south of the littered area.
Almost all of the water flowing out of the valley passes through the wash and into Lake Mead, Mack said. That's water people throughout the valley will eventually reuse. As for the trash, Mack said the smaller items are likely litter and the bigger items are probably from illegal dumping.
"It is disheartening to see litter and trash and dumping that can occur in those areas," Mack said.
Action News reported the trash problem to Clark County. County spokesman Dan Kulin said crews would investigate and see what could be done.
"It really needs to be cleaned up," Edwards said.
Clark County has run several campaigns encouraging people to keep the county clean, Kulin said. You can report illegal dumping to your local government. Each year, the county spends more than $2 million cleaning trash and debris from public areas and flood channels, according to the county website.