Frisco Sanitation District is facing a dilemma that would require a re-route of current discharge or improvements to the sanitation facility that could cost the town "millions of dollars," according to Butch Green, sanitation district manager.
The current route runs through a portion of Miners Creek before diverting discharge into Dillon Reservoir. Regulations on creek discharge have become more stringent, requiring treatment plant upgrades.
"We want to simply bypass the section at Miners Creek to discharge directly into the lake," Green said. "Discharge is going to exactly the same place as it's going now and will avoid the new permit limit requirements if we remained classified as a stream-discharger."
Keeping the current route in place would require the sanitation district to increase ammonia treatments and upgrade current facilities to a reverse osmosis system with ammonia reduction treatment.
"We have to be able to reduce ammonia to lower levels than we currently reduce them to now," Green said. "We'd have to rebuild the inside of our facilities to do that type of treatment. By bypassing this situation and re-routing around Miners Creek we will save a lot of money and avoid those more stringent requirements."
To make required changes, the sanitation district has until October 2016 to move the pipeline, but Green said construction and re-routing of the pipe would have to be completed while reservoir levels are low.
"The lake is at the perfect level right now, but we have a ton of permits that we have to get through," Green said. "We would like to do it this winter between January and April but I don't know if we'll have all of the permits in line by then."
The district needs to acquire easements from Denver Water and permits from various agencies including the Army Corps of Engineers, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Summit County and the town of Frisco.
"If we don't remove the pipe, it's going to cost us a lot of money," Green said. "If we do move it, it will give us more treatment options for down the road."