Outfall project talk fills Water and Sewer meeting


A meeting of the Saratoga/Carbon County Impact (water and sewer) Joint Powers Board on March 9, was dominated by discussion of the Saratoga outfall project.

The outfall project was spurred on by ammonia levels in Hot Slough Creek after the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) detected what it believed to be high levels of ammonia entering the creek.

In January, the board became aware of data collected by the city at two monitoring points along the creek since 2003. Those data showed that ammonia levels in the creek were lower than DEQ’s data indicated.

At the point where water enters the creek from the lagoon, ammonia levels are elevated, board member Craig Kopasz said. As the water works its way into the creek though, the levels decrease rapidly, he said, noting that the city had been collecting data at two points along the creek.

“The DEQ hadn’t heard about that until our meeting a couple months ago in January, and they’re willing to take another look and rewrite the permit and make it acceptable for that level of ammonia to enter Hot Slough Creek,” he said.

The town will also begin monitoring ammonia levels at other points along the creek, including where it enters into the river. The additional monitoring points are being added so the city can closely monitor ammonia levels and ensure continued compliance with the DEQ’s requirements for ammonia levels.

Having such data available made it possible for the city to work with the DEQ in a non-confrontational manner, Kopasz said. “We had quite a few higher-ups with the DEQ with us at that meeting, and everyone had a turn to talk and present their point of view.

“It’s great for the town, great for the mood and great for the river,” he said.

Another item on the agenda was the tap fee ordinance draft, which was still under legal review. The city has lost $4,000 on new taps since October, according to the board, and the draft ordinance is intended to correct that.

An addition to the agenda was the renewal application for the Local Government Liability Pool (LGLP), a program that allows municipalities to carry liability insurance without private insurance policies. The board passed the resolution, allowing the sewer board to submit a renewal application to the LGLP.

The next meeting of Saratoga Water and Sewer Joint Powers Board will be at Saratoga Town Hall on 6 p.m., April 13 at Town Hall.


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