Despite population growth, development boom new study finds Boulder County’s water quality remains good, but not great — The Boulder Daily Camera

E.coli Bacterium

From The Boulder Daily Camera (John Spina):

Despite the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recently proposing several segments of Boulder County’s waterways as impaired, data collected by the Keep It Clean Partnership, which coordinates water quality monitoring for seven municipalities in Boulder County show the region’s water quality has remained relatively stable over the last five years.

“There were no notable issues with temperature, we saw significant decreases in levels of nitrogen and arsenic, E Coli levels remained stable, and we saw some increases in phosphorous but it remained below the state standard” Kevin Peterson, project coordinator of the Keep It Clean Partnership, said following the organization’s release of its 2018 Water Quality Report. “That’s a success, especially considering the population growth in the area.”

While Peterson refrained from directly citing a cause for this trend, he gave a nod to all the work the County and the various cities and towns have done to improve their handling of stormwater and treatment of wastewater, as well as to reduce nutrient pollution from agriculture.

The state’s decision to designate the section of Boulder Creek from 13th Street east to its confluence with South Boulder Creek as impaired, he said, was in large part the result of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment changing how it measures E Coli…

Meghan Wilson, a spokesperson for the City of Boulder, agreed.

“We’re aware that the methodology has changed in terms of designating stream segments as impaired,” she said. “My understanding is the condition has not changed, rather how they are designated has changed.”

While Peterson said ridding E Coli from a waterway is exceptionally difficult in urbanized areas, Cristina Ramirez, the Keep It Clean Partnership’s outreach specialist, noted there are several ways people can help reduce levels, including picking up dog waste, properly maintaining your home’s septic system, limit the amount of fertilizer applied to lawns and ensure irrigation systems aren’t overwatering and sending excess water into the gutter.

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