Monday, July 28, 2008

Dying Island

Have you noticed that the little island in Ferril Lake at City Park seems to be dying? What is causing this? It looks very dry. Could the new clay liner on the bottom be keeping it dry? Could 4 years of the Lowry Landfill Superfund Site toxic sewage effluent be taking its toll? Speaking of lake bottoms, were you surprised when Grasmere Lake in Washington Park suddenly got a new double rubber/plastic bottom last summer? Official reason, it was leaking. Lakes always leak. Why was this leakage so important to stop? Could it be that the new sewage effluent used to fill the lake could not be allowed to leak to the water table below? Most will be surprised when Ferril Lake in City Park gets its new rubber bottom. A Denver Water representative told me last year that this is in the works, but that they were going to hold off for a year or two because "people are tired of that lake being torn up". When the new bottom is installed there, the project of turning these two once beautiful lakes into tertiary-treatment evaporation ponds will be complete. Regulation 84 lists the State regulations concerning the use of recycled water. Denver seems to be in violation of many of its rules, but of particular concern is this reporting requirement:

84.9(B)(5) The fate of waste water streams from the commercial or industrial operation or process after use (e.g., discharge to sanitary sewer, lined evaporation/recovery pond, or other location.
Other rules of interest:
(C) All users shall include information in their User Plan to Comply that demonstrates compliance with the following: (2) Precautions shall be taken to ensure that reclaimed water will not be sprayed on any facility or area not designated for application such as occupied buildings, domestic drinking water facilities, or facilities where food is being prepared for human consumption. (3) Notification shall be provided to inform the public that reclaimed water is being used and is not safe for drinking. The notification shall include posting of signs of sufficient size to be clearly read in all use areas, around impoundments, and on tanks, tank trucks and other equipment used for storage or distribution of reclaimed water, with appropriate wording in the dominant language(s) expected to be spoken at the site. (6) Operation of the irrigation system, including valves, outlets, couplers, and sprinkler heads, and commercial or industrial facilities and equipment utilizing reclaimed water, shall be performed only by personnel authorized by the user and trained in accordance with subsection 84.9(C)(10). (10) Workers shall be informed of the potential health hazards involved with contact or ingestion of reclaimed water and shall be educated regarding proper hygienic procedures to protect themselves.
These rules aren't always clear, but Doug Woods of Parks and Rec said at the SCPNA public meeting on 7/16/08 that he would get back to me. Still waiting Doug ....


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