FAQs


What is wastewater?

How does water get polluted?
What is wastewater treatment?
Are toxic chemicals a problem?
How much wastewater does the MGSD plant treat?
Why is the plant located where it is?
What is done at the plant to control odors?
Are there other sources of odor in the area?
How long does it take to clean the wastewater?
How many people work at the Wastewater Treatment Plant?


What is wastewater?
Wastewater is “used” water, generated by homes, industry, schools and businesses. On the average, each person in the United States contributes 50 to 100 gallons of wastewater everyday. If you turn on your faucet and wash your hands, run the garbage disposal, take a shower, or flush the toilet, once it’s in the drainpipe, it becomes wastewater, which is also called “sewage”.
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How does water get polluted?
The water you use doesn’t go away. Whatever goes down the drain ends up at the treatment plant. While the plant effectively removes settleable and organic materials, it is not designed to remove certain chemicals and metals. So, when toxic chemicals get dumped or rinsed down household drains, they pass through the system largely untreated and end up in the creeks and streams where they may threaten sensitive aquatic life. In addition, anything that goes down a storm drain goes directly to creeks and streams, eventually passing untreated into the rivers.
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What is wastewater treatment?
Wastewater treatment is the process of cleaning used water so that it can be returned safely to your environment. Wastewater treatment is the last line of defense against water pollution, protecting public health and the aquatic organisms in the receiving water. Before modern treatment methods were instituted, wastewater went directly to streams and rivers, often the same place where people took
baths, washed clothes, and got drinking water. Because of this, many people suffered from diseases, such as cholera, typhoid and diphtheria, caused by contaminated water.
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Are toxic chemicals a problem?
Yes. Toxic chemicals present a couple of different problems. First, most treatment plants were not designed to remove toxics, and therefore these chemicals may pass untreated into the receiving water, or cause the resulting biosolids to be classified as “hazardous waste”, which significantly raises disposal costs. In addition, as the heart of the treatment process is the body of living microorganisms, these can be poisoned and rendered ineffective, adding to the deleterious impact of untreated wastewater on the environment. The Environmental Compliance Division enforces prohibitions against discharge of toxics by businesses; however, it is up to individual citizens to monitor what goes down each household drain.
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How much wastewater does the MGSD plant treat?
On the average, about 2 million gallons per day. (That's nearly 1400 gallons per minute/each day/every day)
How do we know that the plant is run well? MGSD operates under a discharge permit issued by the Nevada Division Of Environmental Protection (NDEP), in compliance with the provisions Chapter 445A of the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS). This discharge permit specifies operating conditions, including strict discharge limitations on the final effluent. Operating and laboratory personnel are required to hold and maintain certifications as required by NDEP.
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Why is the plant located where it is?
The original plant was constructed in 1966 when the surrounding area was open fields and several miles out of town. The plant is situated in a low spot in the valley to help facilitate gravity flow of sewage into the plant, therefore eliminating the need for lift stations and the costly maintenance costs they incur. Over the years the plant has expanded to meet the capacity needs of the community.
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What is done at the plant to control odors?
MGSD strives to alleviate odors concerns by utilizing state of the art odor control systems. At MGSD, the influent building, the primary clarifiers and the sludge thickeners are all covered, with associated odor treatment equipment. The solids handling building is meant to be closed, to contain process odors. These units have varying types of odor-scrubbing mechanisms, including chemical and biological odor-treating processes. Plant staff are aware of the potential impact of odors on the surrounding neighborhoods, and strive to operate and maintain the equipment to minimize potential impact of any transient odors.
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Are there other sources of odor in the area?
As the plant facility is still in the vicinity of agricultural land, odors from the surrounding areas may at times be present.
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How long does it take to clean the wastewater?
On the average, a drop of wastewater will spend about 15 hours traveling through the plant while undergoing treatment.
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How many people work at the Wastewater Treatment Plant?
We currently have 10 full-time employees, including administrative, operations, laboratory and maintenance personnel.
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