Reducing Water Pollution in North-Central Colorado: What Citizens Can Do

The Division of Water Quality Control is responsible for monitoring and reporting on the quality of state waters to prevent water pollution, protect, restore and improve the quality of surface and groundwater, and ensure that all drinking water systems provide safe drinking water. They inspect water systems, issue permits, ensure compliance, and take action against entities that violate state and federal regulations. In addition, they work in partnership with utilities, counties and other agencies to monitor, improve and maintain the quality of drinking, surface and groundwater. The State of Colorado is a co-plaintiff in this effort, along with the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservation District and the Pueblo County Board of Commissioners as plaintiffs-interveners.

The City of Colorado Springs has agreed to make improvements that will result in significant reductions in the discharge of contaminants such as sediment, oil and grease, heavy metals, pesticides, fertilizers and bacteria into Fountain Creek and its tributaries. This will benefit communities downstream from Colorado Springs by improving water quality. The settlement also includes mitigation measures to reduce the likelihood of contaminants entering the water treatment plant. Citizens can play an important role in reducing water pollution in north-central Colorado.

There are several steps that individuals can take to help protect our waterways from contamination.

Conserve Water

One of the most effective ways citizens can help reduce water pollution is by conserving water. This includes eliminating unnecessary grass, improving pipes, saving water in outdoor gardens and improving the efficiency of industrial cooling water. It is also important to be mindful of how lawn fertilizer can contribute to water pollution.

Follow EPA RegulationsThe EPA has also announced an agreement with the City of Colorado Springs to resolve violations of the Clean Water Act with respect to their storm sewer system. The agreement requires the City to mitigate the damage caused to Fountain Creek and its tributaries by paying for a study to determine where those streams have been most affected by stormwater pollution and what can be done to improve water quality.

Monitor Water Quality

The Geological Survey carries out water monitoring efforts in Colorado as part of national research projects, collecting and analyzing the chemical, physical, and biological properties of water, sediment, and tissue samples from across the state. This helps ensure that Colorado River water meets municipal, agricultural, tribal and recreational needs while also providing enough water for fish and wildlife to remain in the river.

Be Mindful of Your ActionsIn addition to these efforts by government agencies, citizens can help reduce water pollution in north-central Colorado by being mindful of their own actions that may contribute to contamination. This includes disposing of hazardous materials properly, avoiding activities that may cause erosion or sedimentation in waterways, and being aware of how their actions may affect aquatic habitats. By taking these steps, citizens can help ensure that our waterways remain clean for generations to come. Citizens have an important role to play when it comes to reducing water pollution in north-central Colorado.

By taking steps such as conserving water, following EPA regulations, monitoring water quality and being mindful of their own actions that may contribute to contamination, individuals can help protect our waterways from contamination now and for years to come.

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