Water & Sewer Department (Utilities)
Duties & Responsibilities
The Public Works and Utilities Departments work closely together and coordinate projects that require a point effort.
The Utilities Department provides collection and all treatment for Water and Waste Water in the Town of Wellington.
Recent test results from our water treatment plant. A few weeks ago we had a significant algae bloom at Reservoir #3 that led to strong taste and odor issues in our drinking water. At the height of the outbreak we recorded geosmin levels that were three times higher than ever recorded. Geosmin is the organic compound that creates the earthy smell and taste in our water. Our water operators, with the assistance of Ramey Environmental and members of our Public Works Department, aggressively started treating the reservoir and flushing the distribution system to reduce the geosmin levels and reduce the taste and odor problems. At the height of the outbreak, our geosmin levels were as follows:
Raw water (reservoir): 333
This morning we received the following test results:
Raw water: 2.42
For reference, people generally cannot detect geosmin below a level of 10.
There will be low water pressure in Buffalo Creek subdivision on Monday 7/24 do to scheduled maintenance.
We will be flushing fire hydrants Wed. 7/19 & Thu. 7/20.
We received this message from the State of Colorado:"Our team sampled your reservoir, raw water, and finished water today. All tests showed absent for microcystin and cylindrospermopsin. This means that while there is algae present, we did not detect the presence of the compounds of concern for acute public health."
Attention Wellington Residents,
Many of you have contacted Town Hall about the taste and odor of your water. During Summer months, North Poudre Reservoir #3, Wellington’s primary water source, experiences a buildup of blue-green algae which creates an earthy or musty taste and odor in the Town’s drinking water. Although unpleasant, the taste and odor does not pose a threat to public health and is safe to drink. The taste and odor problem goes away when the reservoir cools in September.
Blue-green algae occurs naturally and produces compounds known as Geosmin and MIB (2-methylisoboneol). These compounds create the earthy taste and odors in the Town’s water supply. During the Summer months, elevated Geosmin and MIB levels exceed the Town’s ability to treat through conventional treatment methods and result in detectable odors at your tap. This year the North Poudre Reservoir is experiencing an unprecedented buildup of blue-green algae, creating higher levels of Geosmin and MIB.
The Town is aggressively treating the reservoir to reduce the algae buildup. Our primary treatment method is through distribution of copper sulfate into the reservoir. Copper sulfate binds to algae proteins, which damages the cells causing them to leak and die. Copper sulfate is also used in swimming pools to control algae and bacteria. Wellington uses copper sulfate every Summer year to treat seasonal algae growth in the reservoir.
The Town has also contracted with Ramey Environmental Compliance, Inc., to bring in extra staff to assist with addressing the elevated Geosmin and MIB levels in our water treatment and distribution system. You can expect to see Town employees flushing hydrants and performing tests at various locations around Town in the coming days.
We have also been in contact with the senior drinking water engineer with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. CDPHE is sending a field engineer to Wellington to test the reservoir and the treatment facility for the presence of toxins which could potentially create dangers to public health. We will monitor those tests closely and post results on the Town website.
Wellington is also working on a long-term solution to address seasonal taste and odor issues. We are currently in the final stages of designing an upgrade to our Water Treatment Facility. The treatment process being considered is a three-stage filtration system that should all but eliminate the taste and odor issues while at the same time doubling our treatment capacity. The Town is pursuing an aggressive design and construction schedule that could have the upgraded facility on-line by July 2018.
If you have any questions or concerns about Wellington’s drinking water, please contact Town Hall at (970) 568-3381.