Poudre River: CSU professor is urging the Fort Collins to take part in a proposal to create a network of real-time water-monitoring instruments along the river


From the Northern Colorado Business Report (Steve Porter):

Mazdak Arabi, associate professor in Colorado State University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is proposing the city take part in a pilot project to reduce water utility costs by having a better picture of what’s coming downstream.

“The goal is to understand the hydraulics regime of the water so utilities can adjust their operations on a daily basis so they don’t treat more than they need to,” Arabi said.

It’s a prospect that’s appealing to Kevin Gertig, the city’s water resources manager.

“We want to put some of these instruments in the field and monitor conditions all the way to the river’s headwaters up to Cameron (Pass),” he said. “We could have almost real-time data and monitor subtle changes never before realized in the watershed.”

Arabi notes that the Poudre River, with its relatively nearby headwaters above Fort Collins, is a good laboratory for studying river flows and pinpointing sources of mostly naturally occurring pollutants, such as phosphorous and nitrogen.

Gertig said the city now does “grab sample” testing of the river with field technicians collecting samples. But a system of monitoring equipment along the river to continuously sample the water quality would be a much more sophisticated approach, he noted…

Gertig said wastewater treatment is one of the city’s highest energy consumers – about 70 percent of the city’s electricity needs – and lowering energy use and reducing the city’s carbon footprint is a city priority…

Arabi said the pilot project is part of the Water Innovation Network, a partnership he’s developing with CSU, local government and the water cluster. WIN’s goal is to create a “truly integrated collaboration” that would seek to “advance the development, demonstration and commercialization of clean water technologies,” he said.

More wastewater coverage here.

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