The City of Reno received the environmental approval needed to expand its Reno-Stead waste water treatment facility in the North Valleys. The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection announced last week that the city’s expansion plans are unlikely to have a negative impact on the environment.
“The capacity of the facility will be expanded from 2 to 4 million gallons per day which is needed to serve ongoing development in the North Valleys area and to help protect public health by producing effluent that meets all applicable water quality standards,” said Samantha Thompson with NDEP. “The expansion will utilize treatment processes similar in nature to the current processes.”
Residents in the area have been concerned about the treatment facility and water quality, especially in light of Swan Lake flooding, but water officials say those concerns are overblown.
Andy Gebhardt, Truckee Meadows Water Authority’s director of operations and water quality, told This Is Reno last year that wells in Swan Lake, now underwater because of the flooding, are not being used because getting to the wells is difficult.
“As a waste water treatment facility, this has no impact on the drinking water supply for the customers,” he said.
The treatment facility, according to the state, will not affect adjacent areas.
“No wetlands, floodplains, agricultural lands, or significant fish or wildlife species or habitats are affected by the project,” Thompson said.
The treated effluent from the facility is used for developments, golf course and park irrigation and some is put back into Swan Lake.
City staff said the approval is the beginning of the comment period.
“There will be bids sent out in the next few weeks and the council is expected to have it for approval on an April agenda,” a city spokesperson said.
CORRECTION: The facility is a waste water treatment facility, not a water treatment facility, as originally reported.
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.