Wastewater Worker Recognition Week April 22-28


Here’s the announcement from Greeley Water:

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has proclaimed the week of April 22-28 “Wastewater Worker Recognition Week” statewide. The proclamation honors the work of about 4,000 certified wastewater treatment plant operators and thousands of engineers, maintenance personnel, laboratory workers, scientists, biosolids workers, sewer maintenance workers, industrial waste pretreatment workers, administrative staff, and suppliers to the industry. Mayor Tom Norton will sign a proclamation similar to the one signed by Governor Hickenlooper on April 17.

Greeley’s Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF) has won awards for its outstanding efforts as an outstanding wastewater treatment plant and environmental steward. WPCF won the Plant Performance Merit Award presented by the Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association (RMWEA) four times in 1992, 1999, 2005, and 2011. In February, WPCF was recognized by Xcel Energy for energy efficiency, as it won the 2011 Custom Efficiency Achievement Award. WPCF was chosen by Xcel because of the installation of high-speed turbo blowers to improve aeration at the plant. It is estimated that these new blowers will save the plant approximately $100,000 – $120,000 annually in projected electrical energy costs.

Greeley Wastewater employees are innovative as well. In 2009, the Wastewater Operations staff built a customized and low cost solution to treat high strength ammonia, resulting in a daily 307-pound reduction in ammonia waste that requires treatment. In 2011, filter boxes were designed and installed at the blower building that houses the six new high-efficiency blowers; this project helps keep the building clean and dust free. This year, plant staff will be participating in a Northern Colorado “Get Into Water” program which is designed to recruit and train individuals for the water/wastewater industry. Specifically, water and wastewater utilities are very concerned about workforce/succession planning and continuity issues as many utility workers begin to retire. This program will increase the public’s awareness of water industry career opportunities. The treatment plant is also evaluating a possible 500 KW solar energy project for the treatment plant and other energy reduction technologies.

Group or individual tours of Greeley’s Water Pollution Control Facility are available for citizens to learn more about wastewater treatment. Please call (970) 350-9360 for more information. Visit the Water and Sewer Department’s website for more on Greeley’s wastewater system: www.greeleygov.com/water/wastewater.aspx.

More wastewater coverage here and here.

Precipitation news: Pueblo experiences seventh driest March on record


From The Pueblo Chieftain (Anthony A. Mestas):

The weather service reported the average monthly temperature in Pueblo in March was 48.7 degrees. That figure is 6.4 degrees above normal and makes last month the fourth-warmest on record in Pueblo. That is well behind the average temperature of 51.3 degrees recorded in March of 1910…

The weather service reported that Pueblo received 0.11 inches of precipitation in March, which is 0.82 inches below normal and makes this March the seventh driest March on record in Pueblo.

Telluride, Ophir and the Sheep Mountain Alliance file final briefs in lawsuit over the permit for the proposed Piñon Ridge uranium mill


From The Telluride Daily Planet (Katie Klingsporn):

The towns and SMA filed final briefs, known as “reply briefs,” in Denver District Court this week. Barring a request for an exemption from CDPHE or Energy Fuels, these briefs will be the last filed to the court, which will take up the case and may or may not schedule oral arguments. In the reply briefs, the towns and SMA continue to contend that the CDPHE violated federal and state laws and ignored dangers to Colorado’s air and water when it issued the permit to Energy Fuels. Both briefs urge the court to vacate the license and remand the application back to CDPHE, which would force the process to start anew. “The hearing procedure was deficient, it did not comply with either federal law or Colorado law … and therefore the process needs to be reset,” said Telluride Town Attorney Kevin Geiger…

Much of the argument put forth by SMA and the towns hinges on a claim that the CDPHE failed to offer the public an opportunity to request a public hearing — as required under the Atomic Energy Act — after the agency issued its environmental report and draft license on the project. This public hearing, they say, is meant to provide a legal process involving testimony under oath and cross examination, not merely a meeting open to the public. The state and Energy Fuels claim that federal law does not in fact apply to its licensing of the mill, but the towns and SMA contest that assertion.

More nuclear coverage here and here.

HB12-1010 passes the general assembly: The bill amends the procedure for replacing lost ditch stock certificates


From email from the Ditch and Reservoir Company Association (John McKenzie):

The General Assembly of the State of Colorado passed HB 12-1010 in March and it was signed by the Governor on 3/15/12. This legislation amends the procedure for replacing lost ditch stock certificates. Prior to this change in the statute, an owner of a lost certificate had to wait three years before a ditch company could issue a replacement certificate. The new bill eliminates the three year waiting period. It takes effect on August 8, 2012.

Please remember that the alternative of a lost instrument bond may be
acceptable by ditch companies.

During the legislative process, Jeffrey J. Kahn, Esq., of Lyons Gaddis
Kahn & Hall, PC testified on behalf of DARCA’s support for the bill.

More 2012 Colorado legislation coverage here.

Daily fluid requirements: Roughly 3 liters for men and 2.2 liters for women


From The Pueblo Chieftain (Lori Winner):

The Institute of Medicine determined that “adequate intake for men is roughly 3 liters and 2.2 liters for women.” There are 4.23 cups per liter, which equals 33.81 ounces per liter, making 8 cups approximately 2 liters. This formula comes close to the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations for women. However, it falls short by one liter for men. Water needs are as individualized as body type. Obese individuals need more water. A 200-pound person with low body fat needs less water than a 200-pound obese person with a high percentage of body fat…

As a general rule, there is no need to hydrate during an exercise session lasting 1 hour or less as long as you are properly hydrated prior to the workout.

Weld County will test resident’s water wells for oil and gas contamination free of charge


From The Greeley Tribune (Analisa Romano):

The county’s new Federal Mineral Lease Board, comprised of Weld Commissioner David Long and two members in the oil and gas industry, granted the money to commissioners to purchase the gas chromatograph and mass spectrometer instrument for an estimated $145,000. While the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission does similar testing for well water contamination, Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway said the availability of the instrument gives residents “another layer of security” as the industry continues to expand in Weld…

[Trevor Jiricek, Weld’s director of planning] said the gas spectrometer will detect compounds normally found in petroleum. After testing to see whether the water shows sign of oil and gas activity, residents must pay for any additional analysis, Jiricek said. The money used to buy the instrument didn’t come from Weld taxpayers, said Long — it’s federal money granted to the county for oil and gas production on public lands, primarily the Pawnee National Grassland. Weld commissioners just approved the new Federal Mineral Lease Board last fall, which independently decides how to spend the revenue, he said. So this is the first year the board can allocate the money to entities that hope to offset some of the industry’s impacts…

[Weld Commissioner David Long] said the new instrument will also be able to establish a baseline for well water in the area, so that when oil and gas activity does increase, the county will have a better idea of the industry’s impact. “That’s kind of the recommendation across the nation,” said Mark Thomas, a chemist with the Weld Department of Public Health and Environment, of testing water before and after activity. Thomas said he doesn’t expect any samples that will test positive for hydraulic fracturing chemicals.

More oil and gas coverage here and here.