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Medical pot grower must line pond to prevent seepage

A new marijuana cultivation business that wants to operate in Pahrump will have to make a lined pond as a condition of approval from the Nye County Water District Governing Board.

After a discussion, members of the WDGB requested the applicant, Sandra Tiffany, a former Nevada senator who wants to open a medical marijuana cultivation facility, GWGA, LLC, at 1340 West Highway 372 in Pahrump, do lined ponds to allow for evaporation and to prevent water from getting into the ground.

“My point is that if we can make sure this is an evaporative pond and that there’s nothing going into the ground, essentially using the earth as its filter,” WDGB member Ken Searles said.

The pond currently is not lined and leaches into the ground.

At the Sept. 1, 2015 meeting, the Nye County Board of Commissioners approved the special use application subject to several conditions of approval. One of the conditions was a water impact plan and the approval of the WDGB prior to commissioners issuing a medical marijuana establishment license for the facility.

WDGB member Ken Searles said a concrete or lined pond would decrease the effluent getting into the ground and from going down into the aquifer and enhance the evaporation of water in the pond.

“If it’s not designed for evaporation of the water, then the location of where it’s going to be placed is so close to the highest concentration of domestic wells that we have in the valley that there’s a potential for the waste products to get into the aquifer without knowing what effects those waste products may have on the individuals who may end up drinking from the domestic wells,” Searles said.

Tiffany said the business only uses organic nutrients. She said the pond will handle the by-products of the nutrients and not the cultivated product.

“We are way above our standards for any agricultural product,” Tiffany said.

A water impact plan for GWGA, LLC that Tiffany presented to WDGB on Tuesday also listed the change in the amount of water that the business was going to use.

In the initial application, GWGA’s floor plan called for two flower rooms, each being 1,200 square feet.

The original 350-square foot mom room was too small and would not have been able to produce enough veg plants to fill the flower rooms.

The second 1,200-square-foot flower room has been converted to the mom room and a 400-square-foot nutrient room that contains the reservoir tanks and R/O system.

An evaporation retention pond that was presented in the documents to the board can process in excess of the 293.58 gallons of water per day. GWGA’s filtration system that was designed by ACG civil engineering firm, will be able to filter 66.33 percent of the total water with 33.33 percent of grey water.

“It’s designed to meet the capacity of what we think we will need,” Tiffany said.

The business will utilize LED lighting in a vertical application that will produce approximately 50 percent less heat, resulting in 50 percent less water consumption versus traditional HID lighting, according to the documents.

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