Here's an article about Horsetooth Reservoir from the Fort Collins Coloradoan with details about the EPA 303d determination. From the article, "The Colorado Water Quality Control Commission is recommending Horsetooth Reservoir for the state's impaired waters list, its second change-of-mind on the issue.
"The commission joins the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in its claim that dissolved oxygen levels at the reservoir haven't met standards for aquatic life half of the past decade and should be placed on the state's so-called 303d list.
"Landing on the list could force water dischargers upstream of Horsetooth to more closely control the release of certain pollutants - upgrades that could be costly.
"Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, which operates the reservoir, says Horsetooth should be placed on a monitoring list instead because of 'insufficient' information about dissolved oxygen in the reservoir...
"The commission could decide Horsetooth's fate at a Feb. 13 public hearing in Denver.
"With a 156,785-acre-foot capacity and half-million recreational users a year, Horsetooth Reservoir would be the largest and perhaps most visible reservoir to make the 303d list because of dissolved oxygen.
"Fruitgrowers Reservoir, a 4,540-acre-foot reservoir northeast of Delta on the Western Slope, is the only reservoir on the list for dissolved oxygen...
"Regardless of where Horsetooth lands, the issue is likely to trigger a review and possible changes to the state's basic standards for dissolved oxygen.
"Some wonder whether the measure should be used at all to diagnose health at the state's reservoirs, while others say the rules for violating the current standards aren't clear.
"But few question whether the proliferation of nutrients that can lead to low dissolved oxygen levels is a problem, said Rob Buirgy, executive director of the Big Thompson Watershed Forum."
Category: Colorado Water