City of Loveland Regulation 85 Monitoring
In 2013, The Big Thompson Watershed Forum assisted the City of Loveland in developing a Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP) to meet the requirements of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Water Quality Control Commission Regulation 85.
Adopted in 2012, Regulation 85 requires domestic and selected non-domestic wastewater treatment facilities to develop, implement, and document a routine water monitoring program. The purpose of the monitoring program is to characterize the load (coincident flow and concentration) of nutrients in the discharge, the concentrations in the receiving water above the discharge, and the load of nutrients in the river or stream below the discharge.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Water Quality Control Division, analyzes all monitoring information to determine the sources and load of nutrients at the selected locations for the City of Loveland.
- Upstream and downstream of the discharge at BTWF sites M130 and M140
- At the closest active Colorado Division of Water Resources (CDWR) or USGS gaging station with daily flow available throughout the year downstream of the discharge’s mixing zone
- Total Nitrogen (TN) – Test for Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN) and Nitrate+Nitrite Nitrogen
- Total Inorganic Nitrogen (TIN) – Test for Ammonia and Nitrate+Nitrite Nitrogen
- Total Phosphorus (TP)
- Flow – The total daily effluent discharge flows (in gallons or million gallons per day) are collected at the same time the nutrient concentrations are measured.
- Flow: Daily average streamflow (cfs) on the day in-stream samples are collected is obtained where an established gaging station is present. USGS gaging station BIGLOVECO # 06741510 is located on the upstream side of the effluent discharge at station M130 and is active. In addition, the USGS collects in-stream flow measurements at each sample event on the downstream side of the effluent discharge at station M140.
- Samples are collected at least monthly.
- Ambient stream samples are collected as composite samples.
Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch Nutrient Pilot Project
Sylvan Dale Ranch is a 3,200-acre working guest ranch located at the mouth of the Big Thompson Canyon. The Jessup family has owned and operated the ranch since 1946. The ranch raises registered quarter horses and Saler-Gelbvieh cattle, with a herd that produces 60 calves per year, some of which are sold directly to the local public as Heart-J pure grass-fed natural beef.
Years ago, cattle pens were built on a bench above the north side of the Big Thompson River. Cattle are confined in these pens during calving season (February through April), weaning time (ten days in October), and during other brief periods for vaccinations and veterinary care. Manure is scraped from the pens each year and used to fertilize the pastures. During rainstorms, water flows onto and through the pens from the hillside above, picking up nutrients as it collects in rivulets that merge in a roadside ditch that empties into the river. Thus, nutrients for use on the pastures are lost and instead contribute to pollution of river water.
In 2011, the Forum set up a nutrient monitoring project with the ranch. The primary water quality objective for this project is to measure nutrients (ammonia, nitrogen, phosphorus) and bacteria and calculate loadings that enter the Big Thompson River from the ranch’s two cattle pens during stormwater runoff events. Best management practices (BMPs) were implemented in 2013, and the project was completed in 2015. The Forum, Northern Water, and Sylvan Dale Ranch are currently reviewing all project details and data and working on a final report.