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Source water protection plan in the works

Posted: Thursday, Jun 12th, 2014

MONTE VISTA – Dylan Eiler, a specialist from Colorado Rural Water Association (CRWA) wowed the Monte Vista City Council with his June 5 presentation on the free Source Water Assessment and Protection (SWAP) program available to the city of Monte Vista.

CRWA is a nonprofit organization that provides technical assistance and training to Colorado’s public water and wastewater treatment systems, according to their brochure.

Not only is the program free, Eiler’s services in helping submit the $5,000 grant proposal that will pay for the program, as well as his expertise in the development and implementation of a source water protection plan is free also.

The grant is a one-to-one matching grant, which means the city would have to match every dollar with either money or in-kind time. The city may meet the in-kind funds by tabulating time spent at stakeholder meetings by professional and non-professional people present, as well as any time lawyers or engineers contribute to the local program.

The Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) created Colorado’s SWAP program and source water assessment reports to help with the development and implementation of individual source water protection plans in 2004.

“If area stakeholders know the source of their water, they will get involved,” said Eiler. “Identifying customers and involving citizens is the most effective way of creating advocates for protecting water sources.”

Eiler said there are six main things needed to develop a source water protection plan:

1. Involve stakeholders and form a steering committee

2. Identify a source water protection area around each drinking water intake

3. Identify potential sources of contamination (PSOCs) to the source(s)

4. Develop Best Management Practices (BMPs) to help prevent PSOCs from entering the source water

5. Write the source water protection plan

6. Implement BMPs

Public Works Manager Robert Vance said he thought it was a good idea to move

forward with the service plan.

“Once we get the stakeholders involved, it will be a community project,” said Vance. “It won’t be a heavy-handed government program.”

The council approved a motion to move forward with the plan.

Public works

Vance reported that his department is working on getting the sprinklers on, adjusted and replacing necessary sprinkler heads.

“Recent conversations with the state water engineers conclude that they are expecting the city to move forward with a project to replace the Sickles line and remove the highest concentration of Inflow and Infiltration (I&I) within the system,” said Vance. “We are planning to clean and camera our entire system.”

Vance said once the lines are mapped, they could repair most breaks that are detected in the pipes using slip lines, but that would be the next phase of the project.

Vance also said Memorial Park is looking good and the sod should be in place and green by Tuesday “in time for Rally in the Valley.”

Public works has had 30 calls complaining about mosquitoes recently. Vance said they will increase the frequency of spraying for a short while in an attempt to combat the critters and would be placing an advisory in the papers indicating which days they will be spraying. His department will also be spraying larvicide in lagoons and intakes, places where water stagnates.

Attorney report

Eugene Farish reported on the water augmentation plan for the city saying they are moving forward with rules and regulations with the state water engineer regarding impacts on the confines aquifer.

“We are looking at all the rules and regulations about depletion and sustainability issues before moving forward with any contracts,” said Farish. “We will need to amend the water rate schedule to catch up with all of our obligations.”


Mayor Debbie Garcia said there will be a $5,000 poker run during Rally in the Valley, which will include cars and motorcycles this year. “They should all be back in town in time for the dedication of Veterans Memorial Park,” said Garcia. “Afterwards, everybody can go to Alibi’s and dance.”

For the complete article see the 06-12-2014 issue.

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