Water Environment Federation (WEF)

Effluent to Energy and It Is Renewable

The Systems Conveyance and Operations Program (SCOP), located in Clark County, Nevada, will enable the Clean Water Coalition (CWC) to improve the water quality of Lake Mead, the main water source for the Las Vegas Valley, and to meet the increasing water demands of its four member agencies: the City of Las Vegas (CLV), the Clark County Water Reclamation District (CCWRD), the City of Henderson (COH), and the City of North Las Vegas. The continuing growth in the Las Vegas Valley along with lowering water levels in Lake Mead has raised concerns about the existing effluent discharge location. The implementation of the SCOP Project will resolve those concerns by providing controlled, deepwater, diffused discharge of highly treated effluent into Lake Mead that will result in an overall improvement in lake water quality for lowering lake levels and increasing effluent discharge.

SCOP has also been developed to create a renewable energy source by implementing a unique pressure reducing/hydroelectric generating station (PR/HGS) to regulate effluent discharge into the lake. A significant amount of hydraulic head is created by the difference in elevation between the wastewater treatment plants and Lake Mead. This need to dissipate the hydraulic head in the conveyance system requires the use of a pressure reducing station (PRS) and also provides an opportunity to incorporate a hydroelectric facility into the SCOP Project to generate renewable electrical energy. The SCOP Project, therefore, includes a hydropower station to create renewable energy from effluent to produce revenue that can partially offset the cost of operating the SCOP Project.

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