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WATER CONCERNS: RIBs issue passed back to planners

The Pahrump Regional Planning Commission will look into several aspects of rapid infiltration basins usage at the recommendation made Monday by the Nye County Water District Governing Board.

A two-part motion that was passed by members of WDGB suggested RPC investigate the use of effluent water for irrigation purposes and research if there’s a way to increase the distance between effluent introduced to the aquifer.

Utilities, Inc. of Central Nevada President Wendy Barnett, who gave testimony at the Monday meeting, said that the company had already increased the distance between the bottom of the basin and the aquifer by an estimated five feet.

WDGB member Ken Searles, however, questioned if that was enough.

“I don’t know if that’s adequate … but if they can increase it for five feet, they should be able to increase it by 10. And that would give us an extra margin of safety,” Searles said about the distance.

Searles also pointed out that the large area of Discovery Park, formerly known as Willow Creek Golf Course, currently doesn’t receive any water and questioned whether there’s a chance to use the effluent for irrigation and watering of the venue.

“So, I can’t see why this recommendation through the RPC can’t be discussed with UICN and find out why it may not be or why it can be done, and I think that should be done before an approval of CUP by RPC,” he said.

Five WDGB members voted for approval of the recommendation. Chairman Greg Dann was the only one who voted against it.

On March 16, Nye County commissioners reversed an appeal of the Pahrump Regional Planning Commission’s approval of a conditional use permit for basins, commonly known as RIBs. The appeal had been filed by Pahrump resident Kenny Bent.

Some of county commissioners said that the RPC didn’t have adequate information when they approved RIBs in January.

“I think these two items would give at least a foot in the door to getting some additional information before approval for the CUP for UICN is taken into consideration,” Searles said.

“That’s not to say there can’t be other areas of inquiry or additional information that was sought out, but these I think are two that we can start with,” he added.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at dsokolova@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @dariasokolova77

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