WHAT: The City of Greeley, in cooperation with the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), will begin to implement erosion reduction measures at Milton Seaman Reservoir. Certified weed-free straw and wood mulch and aerial seeding will be dropped on more than 600 acres.
WHY: The Poudre River and Milton Seaman Reservoir’s watershed was seriously damaged during both the Hewlett Gulch and High Park wildfires. The combination of these treatments will reduce the risk that sediment and ash will affect Seaman’s water capacity or quality, thereby protecting the quality of Greeley’s drinking water. “The threat from erosion, sedimentation and debris flows are substantial and the land treatments to be implemented will reduce those threats,” says Todd Boldt, NRCS District Conservationist, Fort Collins Field Office.
Greeley takes great pride in the quality of our drinking water and for that reason has proactively sought technical assistance from the outset to ensure that all necessary actions are taken to protect our drinking water. In addition to its residents, Greeley’s business community and its largest employers depend on high-quality drinking water for their products and operations, and we consider their needs to be critical to our City’s continued success.
Now that the seasonal monsoon rains have begun, Greeley is benefitting from its system’s multiple redundancies. An inch of rain fell yesterday in Bellvue, stirring up sediment in the Poudre River and forcing the Bellvue water treatment plant to close its intakes while the river clears; we increased capacity at the Boyd Water Treatment facility and switched to the C-BT system.
HOW and HOW MUCH: To assist in this effort, NRCS has awarded the City of Greeley $500,000 from its Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program toward the cost of erosion control treatment on the most critical areas to keep ash and debris from running into the Poudre River and the Milton Seaman Reservoir.
The NRCS EWP program works in partnership with a local sponsor and provides cost-share assistance designed to assist landowners to relieve imminent threats to life and property caused by natural disasters, including wildfires. As the sponsor of the Hewlett Gulch Fire EWP, the City of Greeley will lead the efforts to implement soil protecting conservation measures on over 600 acres through aerial application of straw mulch, wood straw and seed.
If anyone notices a change in their drinking water, please call (970) 350-9811.