Pueblo Area Council of Governments denies Pueblo West’s request to discharge effluent into tributary of Lake Pueblo

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The Pueblo Area Council of Governments voted 8-2 to deny a change in the county’s regulations under Section 208 of the Clean Water Act. Pueblo West and Colorado City representatives voted in the minority. In October, PACOG voted 11-1 against a permit for Pueblo West’s plan for a pumpback project to return flows from the sewer plant to the golf course wash because it did not conform to the county’s 208 water quality management plan. Pueblo West proposed to update the plan to include the wash as an alternate discharge point. Right now, treated effluent is discharged into Pesthouse Gulch, which flows into Wildhorse Creek below Lake Pueblo. “The 208 regulations were last updated in 1993 when Pueblo West had a population of 3,800 and projected that there would be 6,600 people by 2010,” said Larry Howe-Kerr, manager of the Pueblo West Metro District. Pueblo West now has more than 30,000 people. “We’ve grown and our needs have changed.”

Pueblo West looked at four alternatives to golf course wash at the request of Pueblo County in December, and determined that only one — a pipeline down Wild Horse Creek to the Arkansas River — would work. It would actually cost less than the $6.5 million to discharge into Lake Pueblo. Pueblo West wants to use Lake Pueblo to recycle return flows from transmountain water. Most of the community’s water is brought in from the Colorado River basin and can be reused to extinction, stretching its water supply. “The cost would be less if we don’t lose water from the flow management program,” Howe-Kerr said. “The water itself is worth more than the cost of either of the options.”

More Pueblo West coverage here.

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