Breck sanitation district scores EPA prize
BRECKENRIDGE ” A “remarkable commitment to protecting the Blue River Basin” has garnered an EPA environmental achievement award for the Breckenridge Sanitation District.
EPA regional deputy administrator Eddie Sierra presented the award to district officials recently in Breckenridge, singling out the district for the “significant and lasting influence” it has had on protecting water quality in the Upper Blue Basin.
“The staff here has worked really hard and received all of these operation and management awards over the years, and the board has played an integral role in that. The EPA recognized that,” said district manager Andrew Carlberg.
During the district’s 40-year life span, numerous initiatives have enhanced the protection of the basin’s water quality. The district owns and operates five wastewater treatment facilities in the Upper Blue River basin and has won numerous environmental awards, including five national and five regional Clean Water Act awards in operation and maintenance.
One example of the initiatives is the construction of the Iowa Hill Water Reclamation plant, which for the first time created a winter stream flow in a segment of the Blue River that had been extensively dredged during the late 1800s. The winter stream flow allowed for the dilution of heavy metals being discharged from the Wellington-Oro mine.
The ambitious Blue River Pumpback plan particularly piqued the EPA’s interest, and won their support.
“They were quite intrigued with the benefits of the pumpback and how the board came up with the idea, and its follow through for protection of the environment,” Carlberg said.
In another example, the District entered into a reclamation agreement with the Climax Mine for the disposal of biosolids on the mine’s contaminated tailings.
The Breckenridge Sanitation District Board of Directors includes: Ken Trausch, president; Robin Theobald, vice president; Jim Stover, secretary; and Kem Swarts and Bob Greenly, both board members.
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