Flash flood season brings water quality issues - 8 News NOW

Flash flood season brings water quality issues

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LAS VEGAS -- Flash flooding is a major concern this time of year, but local officials are also worried about what is in the flood waters.

They say this is when many southern Nevadans become what they call "unintentional polluters."

Officials say during flash flood season many of us could unknowingly be hurting the quality of the water that we use.

It could be as simple as where we decide to wash our cars or how we clean up after our pets.

Every year, during flash flood season, it is common to see rain water flowing down the streets. However, it is also common to see trash, debris, and even foam-like substances bubbling up from the storm drains.

"The rain is probably cleaner than what we get into our system," Erin Neff with the Regional Flood Control District said.

The focus of this monthly meeting by the Regional Flood Control District is storm water quality. With monsoon season well underway, officials say it is critical to let people know how easy it is to pollute our water system simply by how we maintain our gardens.

"People don't realize that when they fertilize their lawns and sprinklers come on that fertilizer runs into the drainage system into our drinking water,” Neff said.

Vehicles that leak fluids can also pollute rain water that flows directly into storm drains.

Experts recommend people keep their cars well maintained especially during flash flood season. If you need to clean your vehicle, they recommend you use a commercial car wash instead washing yourself in your driveway.

"Chemicals from car washing in your driveway, changing your own oil anything you do with your car runs down into the draining system," Neff said.

Another piece of advice: clean up after your dogs when you go on walks. Pet excrements also swept up into the storm drains that eventually flow into Lake Mead.

Shaina Jose says it is something she sees too often in her neighborhood.

"It is a simple process you know all you have to do is take a bag, pick it up you will find a trash eventually," Jose said.

By the way, if you are dealing with clogged storm drains in your neighborhoods, just contact the Regional Flood Control District and crews will come clear them for you.

You can also report the problem through the free Flood Spot app on your smart phone.

That is where you can also let officials know about flooded areas in your community.

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