Fraser developing source water protection plan
The town of Fraser discussed the development of a new source water protection plan at the regular board of trustees meeting last Wednesday, an effort to protect the communities drinking water sources from potential contamination and disaster.
The Fraser River Source Water Protection Partnership, a collection of eight public water systems in the Fraser Valley, developed the plan to protect drinking water from a myriad of different pollutants, as well as to prepare the town to act in the event of a catastrophic blow to any single water source.
The initial plan details several of the potential sources of contamination and issues of concern, as well as the best course of action to remedy each issue.
A lack of emergency communication protocols in the event of a major chemical spill, train derailment or other unforeseeable disasters to water sources is listed as the biggest concern.
The plan would create an annually updated phone tree for emergency notification, and would lobby the Union Pacific Railway to take measure to protect water sources by including the town in their hazardous materials emergency response plan.
The plan lists a number of potential contaminants including pharmaceuticals, dog waste, septic systems and others as a major concern as well. The plan doesn’t call for any restrictions by law, but will rather focus on education and outreach programs through the US Forest Service, Denver Water, the county and others.
The plan also calls for signage to be put up at informational kiosks and strategic locations around the community to inform people of the potential risks of dumping or contaminating water sources.
Finally the plan details wildfires as a major concern, and suggests the town’s participation in local emergency planning efforts to detail prioritization of critical infrastructure in the area and post fire mitigation.
The Fraser Board of Trustees will discuss the plan further at the regular meeting next Wednesday.
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Firefighters plan to begin burning slash piles at several locations on Bureau of Land Management-managed lands within the Kremmling Field Office’s jurisdiction when conditions allow.