Hot Sulphur Springs experiences water-quality violations at plant |

Hot Sulphur Springs experiences water-quality violations at plant

Grand County, Colorado

Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado, has experienced some water violations, said John McWilliams, Hot Sulphur Springs water plant operator, but he said they’re not serious ones.

“There’s been some problems with the treatment over there and we’ve had some violations,” he said at a board meeting last week.

There were violations for September and October, McWilliams said.

“As far as the lagoon goes, it’s kind of hard to do any kind of treatment adjustments to it; it is what it is,” he added. “Both of the systems are operational; however, because of the inability to control algae growth, particularly during the summer months, I believe that was probably the main cause for these violations.”

There are not many operational changes available, according to McWilliams.

“They work the way that they are designed, but they don’t always produce the best quality discharge,” he said.

The lagoons are engineer-approved by the state.

“Why do we have this problem with new lagoons?” Jeff Green asked. “It’s just kind of ironic that the state writes us up for something they approved.”

McWilliams’ recommendation is to try to get better aeration into these systems.

“We’ll take a little bit of time to see if they’re going to work a little better,” he said. “But again, these lagoon systems, they’re really not that functional. They are designed for small communities such as this, but I’ve worked with them in several different areas around the state and I’ve seen the same problem everywhere with these lagoon systems.

“They’re (the state) very aware of the problems with the lagoons and as far as why they continue to approve them, I really couldn’t tell you.”

Mayor Hershal Deputy said the town and the state are communicating.

“As long as we’re talking with the state, they’re willing to work with us,” Deputy said. “We’re doing what we’re supposed to do.”

After the meeting, McWilliams said the town’s water should be OK even though the town’s questions on the ballots did not pass.

“Their water system is safe at this point and they’re well on their way to getting their system up to state standard,” he said. “They do need to get this clear well, (where additional chlorine is added), installed and functional and operational,” he said. “I really think they’re well on their way to having a reliable system.”

The violations the town has had are not serious, he said.

“They’re not serious at all,” he added. “It’s a matter of (particulates) in the discharge algae cells. It’s nothing more than what naturally occurs in a pond.”

Hot Sulphur residents shouldn’t have to boil water for a while.

“They’re out of the woods as far as having to issue another boil order,” he said. “Now when springtime comes it depends on the intensity of the runoff, but with the improvements it’s made at the water treatment plant at this point I don’t think there’s going to be a problem.”

” Katie Looby covers government and education for the Sky-Hi Daily News. You may reach her at 887-3334 ext. 19601 or

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