GREEN RIVER — Following a report by the Department of Environmental Quality that cited “significant non-compliance issues” at the Water Treatment Plant in Green River, General Manager Bryan Seppie says his staff is making strides to address all of those issues.
Seppie outlined his reply to the DEQ yesterday afternoon during the regular monthly meeting of the Joint Powers Water Board in Green River. He reiterated that the DEQ inspection and issues had nothing to do with the drinking water quality in Sweetwater County.
“Its solely related to the discharge permit for the plant site,” Seppie said. “The permit that we have with the DEQ is for the discharge of groundwater, water that might overflow from our (potable water) storage tanks, and then it would also be discharged from our onsite pond.”
Seppie said that first and foremost, he wants to generate a dialogue with the DEQ program to assure that the treatment plant was not only complying with all regulations but also return to the history of positive reviews the plant has received since its inception.
Addressing the Issues
He also said his staff has taken each of the bullet points highlighted in the report and are systematically taking care of each one. These include cleaning and capping lines, establishing new maintenance procedures so that operators can properly winterize lines, replacing stop blocks on permitted lines, and monitoring total dissolved solids (TDS) levels in the groundwater for proper discharge.
Board member Al Harris asked Seppie if anything has changed at the plant since it was built 20 years ago. Seppie said compliance measures have remained relatively the same during that time.
“What happened that it became an issue?” Harris asked. “Is it a change in regulations?” At what point do we become responsible for the quality of the groundwater?”
Seppie said this is part of developing a better dialogue with the DEQ.
“Basically what we’ve done since April is to do the physical improvements with them here,” he said. “We’ve made some operational changes. I think those are valuable because that will prevent this from reoccurring. We’ve had positive results in the past, we want to get there again, and to do that I need more dialogue with them.”
The board expressed its appreciation to Seppie for diligently addressing all the issue and moving forward in his communication with the DEQ.
Following the operations report and regular agenda, the board convened into an executive session to discuss litigation, potential litigation and real estate acquisition.