Morgan County source water protection plan drafting committee meeting recap

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From The Fort Morgan Times (John La Porte):

Colleen Williams, a source water specialist with the Colorado Rural Water Association, a nonprofit organization that helps water districts and other groups with source water protection plans, presented the group with a draft of a plan for the Morgan County area. Members of the group will review the plan and suggest revisions. A final version of the plan is to be presented at the group’s next meeting Nov. 12 at 1:30 p.m. at the quality water district’s headquarters.

County buy-in to source water protection plans appears likely — Tony Carlson, one of the county commissioners; Barb Gorrell, zoning administrator; and Steve Enfante, emergency management coordinator, have been attending committee meetings. The plan will address a wide range of concerns about the protection of source water and ways of addressing those concerns. Public education looms large as a means of protecting water. In addition to county officials, the Northeast Colorado Oil and Gas Association, the city of Brush, Log Lane Village, the Morgan Conservation District and other entities have been involved in working on the plan.

The group is focusing on three areas — Hay Gulch near the border between Morgan and Weld counties, San Arroyo Creek southwest of Fort Morgan and Beaver Creek south of Brush. There are more than 600 oil and gas wells within the areas, but most of them are abandoned and capped. Regulations now call for oil and gas companies to use liners in water pits when drilling wells. In addition to oil and gas wells, other areas of possible concern to source water quality include transportation (particularly spills from vehicles), growth and development, septic systems, agricultural practices (especially fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides), private water wells, underground water storage, recharge ponds, residential practices and the Clean Harbors hazardous waste storage facility on Highway 36.

More Morgan County coverage here.

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