The Clark County Water Reclamation District (CCWRD) doesn’t serve Las Vegas proper, that international tourist mecca. The city’s public works department handles sewage generated by the millions of people who flock to the city every year, plus residents and businesses.

Collecting and treating the sewage generated by the rest of the county, including unincorporated areas and five outlying towns, is CCWRD’s responsibility. Every day, the district collects and treats 100 million gallons via 2,000 miles of pipelines and seven treatment plants.

The wastewater collection network was established in 1954 and, like many of this age, requires eventual upgrades. To increase capacity, in 2014 the district broke ground on the largest expansion project in its history: 13 miles of new gravity sewer interceptor broken into three sections that are being placed simultaneously.

As the map above shows, the $150 million Paradise Whitney Interceptor snakes through residential areas and around McCarran Airport and ends at the district’s main facility, the 150 mgd Flamingo Water Resource Center. The sawtooth alignment crosses three interstates along the way.

To minimize disruption to homeowners, businesses, and traffic, about half the new pipelines are being installed with microtunneling and earth pressure balance (EPB) equipment. Ultimately, 34 alignments of 60- to-74-inch pipe will be placed to depths of 45 feet using these methods. Scheduled for completion in 2018, the project is the largest concentration of trenchless-installed pipelines in the U.S. in more than a decade.

Next page: Geology dictates construction methodology