CWQCC: Proposed nutrient standards have southwestern municipalities worried about costs for implementation

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From The Durango Herald (Dale Rodebaugh):

A Durango attorney involved in the process says region-specific nutrients standard makes more sense than the blanket regulations for nitrogen and phosphorus that are being proposed for Colorado. If a one-size-fits-all standard is adopted it won’t improve water quality in the Animas River but will cost Durango $19.7 million in capital costs alone, Jeff Kane, of Maynes, Bradford, Shipps & Sheftel said.

Cortez would face a $3.1 million bill, Kane told the Southwestern Water Conservation District board on Wednesday. Bayfield would be looking at $2.4 million in upgrades while it would cost the Pagosa Springs Water and Sanitation District $14.6 million and the town of Telluride, $7.4 million…

Communities that treat wastewater in lagoons don’t fall under the new regulations. Among them are Silverton, Mancos, Hermosa, Durango West and Edgemont Ranch Metropolitan District…

At the March meeting, commissioners will address two issues – Regulation 31 that sets limits of 0.11 parts per million for phosphorus and 1.25 ppm for nitrogen – in cold-water streams and Regulation 85 that mandates new nutrient removal technology…

The heaviest nutrient loads are found in the Platte, Arkansas and Poudre rivers downstream from large Front Range urban areas, Kane said. Agricultural operations produce very little contamination, he said…

Gunderson said 135 of the 391 waste dischargers in the state account for 95 percent of effluent. One discharger, Metro Wastewater Reclamation District in Denver, alone accounts for one-third of the 95 percent, he said.

More wastewater coverage here.

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