Coalition for Urban River Evaluation
1697 Cole Blvd., Ste 200, Golden, Colorado 80401 ● Ph: (303) 239-5411 ● Fax: (303) 239-5454
SP CURE Board Meeting
Tuesday, August 21, 2007 – 9:00 am
Meeting Location: Denver Wastewater Management
2000 W. 3rd Ave.
(press CTRL and click on the link above)
Host: Kevin Lewis
August Meeting Summary
1. May Minutes
Sharon Henderson Davis moved to approve the May meeting summary. Paul Grundemann
seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
2. Mercury Presentation (Tony Congram, Suncor)
The main source of mercury for humans is fish. Mercury can still be found in switches, light bulbs,
thermometers, flow meters, seals, and some jewelry. Methyl-mercury is the toxic form of mercury.
In lakes, higher pH mitigates methylation of mercury.
The basic standard for mercury is 10 nanograms per liter. Most of the South Platte River basin has
10 ng/L as the chronic limit. Segment 15 has a different limit of 40 ng/L chronic and 2,400 ng/L
acute. Metro was able to show that the fish population is healthy in Segment 15 and so the Water
Quality Control Division (Division) set the limit based on fish tissue levels translated into a water
column concentration. Metro samples fish tissue once per year for compliance with their permit.
Suncor has a mercury problem based on samples taken in stream. They have a compliance
schedule of January 1, 2010 to meet 11 ng/L in their discharge and many times they are well above
this level. Their source of mercury is the crude oil that they receive.
Interesting information - studies have shown that selenium reduces bioaccumulation of mercury.
EPA is establishing a new 303(d) category called “5m,” which Colorado has adopted as part of its
303(d) listing process. This requires that the state establish a mercury reduction program so that
TMDLs can be deferred. One of the elements of the reduction program is multi-media sampling
(air emissions and deposition, water quality, stormwater).
Should SP CURE take any steps with regard to mercury? Centennial has a high headworks loading
(based on local limits) but no problems in their outfall. To reduce loading, they have had to do
work with dentists within their collection system to stop using amalgam that contains mercury.
Sarah to put mercury presentation on website.
3. Project Updates
Habitat and Bioassessment - A subgroup of the Monitoring Committee met on Monday, August 20,
2007 with Aquatics Associates and GEI to discuss their scopes of work. The funding agencies
(Centennial W&S District, Xcel Energy, L/E WWTP) have agreed to pay for the habitat and
bioassessment work in its entirety by dividing it into three equal shares. The plan for how the
payment is split between the three may change in the future, at which point the Board will be
Mercury Monitoring - The Monitoring Committee has identified locations for water quality
monitoring for mercury, but is not in consensus about whether we should do instream monitoring
for mercury. EPA’s criteria for mercury is in fish tissue, not water quality. Todd Harris with
Metro feels that we should focus on fish tissue, not water column levels of mercury. Fish tissue is
less expensive because we are analyzing for mercury at the mg/kg level, not ng/L level.
Steve Canton put together a paper on mercury in the arid west that showed that the arid west
streams are less likely to have high mercury in the fish.
Paul Grundemann made a motion that SP CURE collect and analyze fish through the bioassessment
for Segments 14 and 6 for mercury and selenium for five years. Blair Corning seconded the
motion, which passed unanimously.
Other dischargers will be sampling in stream, including L/E at one site and Xcel upstream and
downstream of Arapahoe and Cherokee.
Chlorophyll a - After discussions with Jim Saunders at the Division, the Monitoring Committee
decided that it would be best not to monitor for chlorophyll a because the Division will not be
using chlorophyll a as a measure of nutrient impacts in rivers and streams. Instead, Saunders hopes
to be able to make a connection between nutrients and the biota. If not, they will look to a
connection with periphyton. Denver Environmental Health has found that the Hilsenhoff Biotic
Index (HBI) for macroinvertebrates correlates well with nutrients. We will be able to share our
data on the bioassessment with the Division to help the aquatic work group look at a possible
correlation between nutrients and biota.
CWQMC – Still in the process of looking at the structure of CWQMC and sustainability of DSN.
DSN - DSN is asking for sponsorships from different agencies to make DSN sustainable in the long
term. DSN is still looking at the overall budget that will be necessary to keep the DSN working
after the existing grant runs out (which would include such costs as hosting fees, training,
education, database updates, answering questions, etc.) and the sponsorships that they seek will be
structured to support the budget. At this point, they are asking for $10,000 from SP CURE, which
would cover the hosting costs for SP CURE data for the year. One comment from the Board is that
we would be happy to pay for our fair share, but not really the fair share for other agencies - the
Division should pay for funding of these other organizations or entities that cannot afford to pay
for the DSN services themselves. The DSN is looking for someone to host the database, which
would certainly lower the cost. If the Division is requiring that 319 grant programs put their data
into the system, then it seems that they would need to pay for some of it.
The Division needs to support the DSN and at least get their data into DSN. Sarah will bring this
up at next DSN meeting and ask DSN to make this a priority. We would like to discuss hosting
options, org ID requirements, and use of a secondary database vs. direct use of STORET at the
December 18, 2007 SP CURE meeting where DSN will be presenting.
Paul Grundemann made a motion that SP CURE sponsor DSN for up to $10,000 this year. Dennis
Stowe seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
Call Matrix for Spills - At the last BMW meeting, some folks brought up a concern that they were
not notified after the L/E WWTP spill. They asked that SP CURE possibly look at some sort of
call matrix for spills. The WWUC paid for Brown and Caldwell to do a spill response database
about 5 years ago, and they are trying to resurrect this project to update it and get it out to others
for their use. Industry (Suncor and Xcel) would like to be part of that effort as well. Tricounty
health is interested in being part of the call system as well as Denver Environmental Health and
likely other county health departments. We need to put it on the agenda every year to update the
call list information, as information quickly goes out of date. The WWUC will take the lead to
update the database/CD. We could have a demonstration of this tool at another meeting.
Cherry Creek Run for the Watershed - Look for an email from Emily Evans calling for folks who
are interesting in participating in the Run for the Watershed on September 29, 2007 on the BMW
Annual Stakeholders Meeting. - The annual Stakeholders meeting is next Tuesday, August 28,
2007 at Milton Reservoir. There will be a regular business meeting in the morning then a bar-b-
cue, pool party, and tour of Milton Reservoir in the afternoon.
4. New Business
Brown and Caldwell Coordinator Contract – Christine Johnston moved and Tony Congram
seconded. Passed unanimously
Sponsor Sustaining Colorado's Watersheds: Making the Water Quality Connections Conference –
Dennis Stowe made a motion that SP CURE sponsor the conference in the amount of $250. Blair
Corning seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
Other News - Andrew Hawthorn is leaving Glendale to go to the City of Westminster as a
community development engineer. Andrew will then be leaving the Treasurer position and Blair
Corning will be the new Treasurer. We will discuss the Director position at the next meeting. The
kayak competition was not able to be held in Denver because of high flows. They still competed in
Golden. Kevin Lewis brought up a new venture with recycling dog waste. He will get back with
us on this idea. Thornton is initiating a pilot study for biological nutrient removal in their water.
Burns and Macdonald is the contractor and they are selecting 3 different processes to evaluate.
5. Meeting Schedule
September 18, 2007 – Aurora
October 16, 2007 – Centennial W&S District
November 20, 2007 – South Adams County WSD
December 18, 2007 – Xcel Energy
Meeting summary was prepared by Sarah Reeves.
Christine Johnston, Secretary Date Approved
SPCURE Board Meeting – August 21, 2007
Present Name Organization
Randy Giffin Aurora
X Jill Piatt Kemper Aurora
Shelley Stanley Northglenn (BDCWA)
David Carter Westminster (BDCWA)
Ed Burke Brighton
Jim Kaufman Brighton
X Paul Grundemann Centennial W&S District
Pat Nelson CH2MHill
Tom Bueb Coors Brewing
Fred Linton Coors Brewing
X Alan Polonsky City and County of Denver
Jon Novick Denver Environmental Health
X Terry Baus Denver Wastewater
X Kevin Lewis Denver Wastewater
Dave Kaunisto East Cherry Creek Valley W&S
Kipp Scott East Cherry Creek Valley W&S
Tom Brennan City of Englewood
X Laurie Rink FRICO
X Andrew Hawthorn Glendale
Anne Beierle Golden
Fred Bromberger City of Littleton
X Mary Gardner Littleton/Englewood WWTP
X Phil Russell Littleton/Englewood WWTP
X Dennis Stowe Littleton/Englewood WWTP
Barbara Biggs Metro District
Amy Woodis Metro District
X Sharon Henderson Davis Metro District
X Todd Harris Metro District
X Blair Corning South Adams County W&S
JM Grebenc South Adams County W&S
X Tony Congram Suncor Energy (U.S.A.)
X Vic Lucero Thornton
Ben Urbonas UDFCD
X Ken MacKenzie UDFCD
X Christine Johnston Xcel Energy
X Sarah Reeves Coordinator - Brown and Caldwell