Environmental Impacts of Water Pollution in North-Central Colorado

Nutrients can cause or exacerbate the growth of algae in stagnant bodies of water, a process called eutrophication, which is common in Colorado's urban reservoirs. The Regional Board has primary responsibility for addressing New River water quality problems attributable to activities in the United States. It has been controlling pollution caused by diffuse sources, mainly agricultural runoff from the Imperial Valley, through the implementation of the State Diffuse Source Management Plan and the State Watershed Management Initiative, which requires the development and implementation of total maximum daily loads for components that damage the river. It also controls the contamination of point sources in the Imperial Valley that flow into the New River.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the U. S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (US IBWC) are the two U. agencies responsible for border pollution.

Short- and Long-Term Strategies to Improve Water Quality Prospects and Current Threats to Water Quality

Water is an invaluable resource in California, and preserving its quality is essential to protecting public health and the environment. Water pollution can cause human health issues, poison wildlife, and harm ecosystems in the long run. When agricultural and industrial runoff floods waterways with excessive nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, these nutrients often feed algae blooms that then create dead zones or low-oxygen areas where fish and other aquatic life can no longer survive. Nutrient pollution has affected many streams, rivers, lakes, bays, and coastal waters over the past few decades, causing serious environmental and human health problems and impacting the economy.

Additionally, drinking water contamination can occur through the pipes themselves if the water is not treated properly, as occurred in the case of lead contamination in Flint, Michigan, and other cities. The Division of Water Quality Control monitors and reports on the quality of state waters to prevent water pollution, protect, restore, and improve the quality of surface and groundwater, while ensuring that all drinking water systems provide drinking water. In 1995, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) provided funding to the Regional Board to monitor and document monthly water quality at the international border. All of this has resulted in significant and measurable improvements in the water quality of the New River on the Border, particularly with regard to pathogens, nutrients, bacteria, and dissolved oxygen.

Diffuse Source Pollution

Water runoff from impervious surfaces, such as roads and parking lots, carries contaminants to nearby waterways. This and other diffuse sources of pollution are the main causes of water quality problems in Colorado (CDPHE, n.).

Chemical monitoring strategies sample chemical components such as ammonia, copper, or bacteria in surface water. The national primary drinking water standards established by the EPA under the SDWA include both mandatory maximum contaminant levels (MCL) and voluntary maximum contaminant level targets (MCLG) for contaminants that may cause adverse public health effects. Once every two years, the Division collects all the water quality monitoring information received (whether collected by the Division or others) into a report on the state of water quality in Colorado (CDPHE, n.).

Voluntary Controls

In Colorado, diffuse source contamination controls are not regulatory and are adopted on a voluntary basis; these controls are intended to prevent contamination from occurring at the source instead of treating the water once contamination has already occurred. In the mid-1980s, Mexico and the United States began to work cooperatively to address pollution of the New River from Mexico. Consequently, regulatory management of biosolids has been designed to protect surface waters from harmful levels of contaminants such as metals or pathogens that can be found in biosolids. State standards for surface and groundwater are determined by the Water Quality Control Commission which reports to Colorado's State Department of Public Health (& Environment).

Leave Message

All fileds with * are required