Here’s the release from Governor Hickenlooper’s office:
Gov. John Hickenlooper announced today that 21 municipal wastewater and sanitation districts throughout Colorado will receive a total of $14.7 million in state grants to help with the planning, design and construction of facility improvements to meet new nutrient standards.
“Coloradans in rural and urban areas will benefit from these new water standards that improve and protect our water,” Hickenlooper said. “This grant funding will help communities offset the costs of bringing their systems into compliance. In addition, the grants announced today will help ensure safe and healthy water for wildlife, agriculture, recreation and drinking water purposes.”
Excessive nutrients harm water bodies by stimulating algae blooms that consume oxygen, kill aquatic organisms and ultimately lead to smaller populations of game and fish. While nutrients are naturally occurring, other contributors include human sewage, emissions from power generators and automobiles, lawn fertilizers and pet waste.
The state’s Water Quality Control Commission adopted new standards in September 2013 to help prevent harmful nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, from reaching state waters. The new regulation requires certain larger domestic wastewater treatment facilities to meet effluent limits for nutrients.
The Nutrient Grant Program will help wastewater facilities with the costs of planning for, designing and implementing system improvements. Funding for the program was made available through HB13-1191 “Nutrient Grant Domestic Wastewater Treatment Plant,” sponsored by Reps. Randy Fischer and Ed Vigil and Sens. Gail Schwartz and Angela Giron. There about 400 municipal wastewater systems in Colorado. The new nutrient standards apply to about 40 systems and will have the greatest impact on the waters of the state.