100th detention basin a flood control milestone for the valley


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Regional Flood Control District is nearly done building it’s 100th basin in the Las Vegas valley to manage heavy water flowing from the mountains during storms and help spur development in Henderson. 

Crews continue to haul away materials from the Pittman North Detention Basin. It’s located near the M Resort Spa Casino and the Lion Ranch Habitat on Bermuda Road. 

“It’s pretty big,” Keith Evans said.

Evans lives next to the project and operates the sanctuary where lions and Ozzie, the painting giraffe, spend their days. Evans said he welcomes the new addition to the neighborhood.

“I’m happy the detention basin is here.” 

The $23.5 million project is one of the largest basins in the valley and built to hold 500 million gallons of water. The near completion of this project marks a major milestone for the Clark County Regional Flood Control District. 

“So it’s taken about 30 years to get to this point and get these basins constructed,” Steven Parrish, general manager and chief engineer for the district, said. 

Development of flood control facilities was spurred by floods in 1984 and 1999. Red marks show facilities currently in place.

The county started designing and building detention basins in the 1980s. Work on the Pittman North Detention Basin began in June 2018. 

“This basin is collecting flows out of the McCullough Range to the south of us, and a little bit out of the Spring Mountains to the west of us,” Parrish said.

Part of the design includes a water quality feature. 

The Pittman North Detention Basin will be finished in Sept. 2019. (KLAS-TV)

“We put a berm around  the outlet to help stop that first flush of flow,” Parrish said. “The water comes in and it slows down and then the sentiments trash and debris can filter out of that water before it leaves” 

Parrish said Henderson Public Works is responsible for cleaning the trash trapped in the basin after the storm. Along with controlling the rush of water, the basin is already spurring development in the surrounding area. 

“This was the next place to boom,” Lance Olson, quality control manager for the City of Henderson said. “Without that we wouldn’t have been able to continue to grow and to continue develop to the West.”

Construction is underway to build warehouses as well as apartments in what was once a flood zone. 

“The flood zone basically went through here and halfway between the the lion habitat in there and it rolled all the way down to St. Rose,” Olson said. “This was all in a flood zone which limits your ability to construct or grade or fill in that area.”

Now the City of Henderson sees an opportunity for expansion and business with the basin here. Evans also recognizes the positive impact for the area. 

“If it stops someone from getting flooded east of us, I mean it’s great,” Evans said. 

The district expects the basin to be complete in September. 

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