Spring Mountain Youth Camp’s water supply has stopped flowing.
And supplying water to adequately serve the camp will cost about $250,000 for a 38-week-period.
Unlike problems that can be fixed in a definitive time frame, Clark County officials will have to rely on the whims of Mother Nature when waiting to see when the spring that supplies the camp will pick up again. The wait could end next spring, after several years or be permanent. Officials can’t predict how long.
The source of the spring, when it flows, is an aquifer that is recharged from snow melt on the mountain. If there is a hearty snowfall this winter, it’s possible the spring could start running again in March or April.
The youth camp, part of the county’s Juvenile Justice Services, is a correctional facility for boys between 12 and 18 years old based in Angels Peak in the Mount Charleston area northwest of Las Vegas. At an elevation of 8,470 feet, the camp can hold 100 youths, offering a residential program that includes education, life skills and work opportunities on U.S. Forest Service projects.
County commissioners will discuss the issue Tuesday, focusing on the long-term situation.
The camp’s water needs are pegged at 8,000 to 10,000 gallons a day, which includes water used in the kitchen, washrooms and showers.
When the spring stopped flowing earlier this month, the county enlisted the services of Kyle Mountain Fire, a company that does business as Water Pros for potable water. Under the proposal, the costs would include three days of water delivery a week.
If the spring starts flowing before the 38-week period ends, the county wouldn’t be required to keep using the vendor’s water hauling services.
County spokesman Dan Kulin said the spring running dry hasn’t affected operations except for paper plates being used to save water.
Spring Mountain Youth Camp Manager Michael Whelihan was unavailable for comment.
The U.S. Forest Service also relies on the spring for flush toilets at a couple of nearby campsites. The water stopped there, too, but the campgrounds are open because they have vault toilets.
Before the flows stopped, the water pressure wasn’t quite a strong as it usually is, officials said.
Like the county, Forest Service officials are keeping an eye on the spring.
“I’m hoping come spring after we get some snow this year, it will flow again,” said Del Orme, recreation staff officer with the Forest Service.
“I would assume it has everything to do with the drought that we are in,” Orme said.
It’s not the first time the spring has stopped flowing. The water stopped at the campsites and the youth camp in 2002.
Contact Ben Botkin at email@example.com or 702-405-9781. Find him on Twitter: @BenBotkin1.