Update on Fountain Creek E. Coli study Sept. 11

       Citizens will hear an update on a Fountain Creek contamination study at a public meeting Thursday, Sept. 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) offices, 14 South Chestnut St.
       According to a press release from PPACG (the regional planning agency), the United States Geological Survey (USGS) will discuss “initial data [that] indicate multiple animal sources and human sources of E. coli contamination.”
       However, the exact sources remain elusive. “Data are being further analyzed in an attempt to evaluate the amount of fecal contamination that comes from each source, as well as where and how the fecal contamination gets to the stream,” the release states.
       The USGS is in the second year of its $444,000, three-year study of Fountain Creek from Green Mountain Falls to the confluence with Monument Creek. Leading to the study was a finding that that part of the Fountain violates recently established federal E. Coli standards (although the actual health risk, short of full immersion in the water, is believed to be minimal).
       The study's goal is to define the cause of the problem and a strategy for solving it. Funding is coming from the USGS, Colorado Springs Utilities, the City of Colorado Springs and the Colorado Health Department.
       Public assistance has been sought in the project because of the difficulty in locating where the pollution is coming from. “Public participation and field observation over the past year have identified failed connections to the waste collection system that were repaired, as well as other information of interest to the study,” the release states. “Public participation at this phase of the project will be used to help link laboratory data to sources and to prioritize additional samples for analysis so that fecal contamination issues in the Fountain Creek watershed can be better understood.”
       The first public meeting was last January. A third meeting is to be scheduled next May, in conjunction with a report “summarizing the final results of the study,” the press release states.
       For more information, call PPACG at 471-7080, x127.

Westside Pioneer/press release