Tap Water Las Vegas

Las Vegas relies on a robust water system to meet the needs of its residents and visitors.

Understanding the quality of Las Vegas tap water is essential for making informed decisions about consumption and health.

In this article, we will look into the sources of Las Vegas tap water, potential contaminants, and health considerations associated with this vital resource.

Las Vegas Water Sources

Las Vegas primarily obtains its tap water from the following sources:

  1. Colorado River: The Colorado River is a significant water source for Las Vegas. Water is drawn from Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States, which stores water from the Colorado River.
    • The Colorado River is currently at a crisis point due to long-term drought. – Nature.org
  2. Groundwater: Las Vegas also relies on groundwater sources, such as aquifers, which store water underground. These sources supplement the water supply and provide some resilience during periods of low Colorado River flow.

Common Contaminants in Vegas Water

While Las Vegas tap water generally meets regulatory standards, it’s important to be aware of potential contaminants that can be present. Some common contaminants found in Las Vegas tap water include:

  1. Disinfection Byproducts: The process of disinfecting water with chlorine can result in the formation of disinfection byproducts (DBPs). These byproducts, including trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs), are regulated to ensure safe levels.
  2. Lead and Copper: Old plumbing systems, particularly those in older homes, may contain lead pipes or copper fixtures that can leach into the water.
    • 90% of lead samples collected in the Las Vegas Valley Water District measured below 3.0 parts per billion.
      • Lead concentrations of 3.8 and above put a formula-fed baby at risk of elevated blood lead levels.
    • Las Vegas takes measures to control corrosion and reduce the presence of these metals.
  3. Agricultural and Industrial Runoff: Contaminants from agricultural and industrial activities, such as fertilizers, pesticides, and chemicals, can enter water sources through runoff and potentially affect water quality.

Vegas water has a total of 32 contaminants, 15 of which exceed health guidelines. (ewg.org)

Those contaminants include:

  • Aluminum
  • Arsenic
  • Barium
  • Chloroform
  • Chlorate
  • Haloacetic acids
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Nitrate
  • Nitrite
  • Radium
  • Selenium
  • Strontium
  • Testosterone
  • Uranium
  • Vanadium

*Note: Most contaminants can be removed using reverse osmosis systems like the one below:

Reverse Osmosis Systems for Las Vegas
APEC system – Amazon

Health Risks and Considerations

While Las Vegas tap water is treated and monitored to ensure safety, there are some health considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Chlorine Sensitivity: Some individuals may be sensitive to chlorine or find its taste and odor off-putting. In such cases, using a water filter or allowing tap water to sit for a short period can help dissipate the chlorine taste and smell.
  2. Lead Exposure: If you live in an older home with lead plumbing or suspect the presence of lead pipes, it is recommended to have your water tested for lead content. Filtering or replacing lead pipes can reduce exposure to this potential health risk.
  3. Vulnerable Populations: Infants, pregnant women, and individuals with compromised immune systems may be more susceptible to certain contaminants. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized recommendations.

Las Vegas Water Treatment and Monitoring

The Las Vegas Valley Water District (LVVWD) is responsible for treating and monitoring tap water to ensure its safety.

The water treatment process includes:

  1. Coagulation and Flocculation: Chemicals are added to water to help particles clump together for easier removal.
  2. Sedimentation: Clumped particles settle to the bottom of treatment tanks, allowing cleaner water to be separated.
  3. Filtration: Water passes through filters, such as sand or activated carbon, to remove remaining impurities.
  4. Disinfection: Chlorine is added to kill bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms.
  5. Monitoring: Regular testing and analysis of tap water are conducted to ensure compliance with federal and state water quality standards.


Las Vegas tap water, sourced from the Colorado River and groundwater, undergoes treatment to meet regulatory standards.

While it generally provides safe drinking water, being aware of common contaminants and health considerations is important.

By staying informed, using appropriate filters, and taking necessary precautions, residents and visitors can enjoy the tap water with peace of mind.

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