Lake Mead Water Supply System Surge Protection

Clean Water Coalition

Las Vegas, NV

Flow Science developed surge protection for the Lake Mead water supply system for the City of Las Vegas, which consists of a series of pumping lifts from the Lake Mead Intake to the Alfred Merritt Smith Treatment plant. The original system had been designed by the US Bureau of Reclamation and used flywheels to add polar moment of inertia (WR2) on the pump/motor units in the three 30,000 HP pumping stations, together with open surge tanks on the final lift. Planned expansion of the system from 400 MGD to 600 MGD required a complete reassessment of the surge protection of the system because of the higher hydraulic grade lines that would be involved. The result of the Flow Science analysis, which was reviewed and approved by the USBR in Denver, was an increase in the size of the large surge tanks on the final lift (see included photograph of surge towers under refurbishment).