Somerset: New treatment plant for coal mine benefits residents

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From the Delta County Independent (Kathy Browning):

The new treatment plant was started four years ago. It’s been a real step up from the days of just chlorinating river water. When water regulations changed for the better, a new treatment plant was required to meet current federal and state water quality standards.

The total project cost $700,000. Gunnison County contributed $50,000, the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) grant was for $375,000, Oxbow contributed $175,000 and the Town of Somerset received a DOLA loan for $100,000. The customers are paying off the loan through monthly fees of $36.50 for 10,000 gallons a month in the summer and 5,000 gallons in the winter. The cost is 15 cents for each 100 gallons over the limits. $20 from the monthly water bill goes toward paying off the loan and putting some aside for a capital reserve. While Oxbow Mining Waterworks operates the system today, when coal mining is completed and the land reclaimed the water treatment system will be turned over to the Somerset Domestic Waterworks District.

“We’re real fortunate to have Oxbow pay for a water treatment plant,” said Phillip Buskirk, president of the Somerset Domestic Waterworks District. “Oxbow helps Somerset a lot by running this.”

More Coyote Gulch water treatment coverage here and here.

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