MAJOR CHALLENGES IN BEAR CREEK WATERSHED
There are some major issues facing the Bear Creek Watershed in the coming years.
The Bear Creek Reservoir Control Regulation #74 will undergo a rulemaking hearing by 2021. Based on a new water quality model (WQCD), changes will include watershed and reservoir nutrient load allocations, wastewater waste load allocations, monitoring expectations, nonpoint source load reduction expectations, onsite system loads, stormwater loads and implementation practices. The Bear Creek Watershed will have a new phosphorus and nitrogen Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and wasteload allocations by 2020, with anticipated phased implementation.
Stream and Lake/Reservoir Nutrient Management- By 2022 the Water Quality Control Commission intends to adopt new phosphorus and nitrogen numbers for streams and lakes, which will include statewide chlorophyll standards. Currently instream nutrient standards only apply to waters above all wastewater treatment facilities. The stream segments in the top of the water shed (Mount Evans Wilderness and Forest Service lands) are not meeting these standards. There are multiple Bear Creek and Turkey Creek stream seg ments that aren’t meeting the proposed nutrient standards. Total nitrogen man agement will be a significant management element over the next 10-years. Bear Creek Reservoir is not meeting current phosphorus, nitrogen or chloro phyll standards. The load allocation of nutrients will need to be reduced to meet standard compliance. Evergreen Lake as a direct use water supply is not meeting the chlorophyll standards. Upper watershed nutrient reductions are required over the next 5-years.
Wastewater Treatment Facility Wasteload Allocations (WLAs)– The existing WLAs of 5,255 pounds total phosphorus will be greatly reduced (expectation 1,000 pounds). New discharge permit limits (pounds and concentrations) are expected after 2020, but within 5-years. Permit could get new total nitrogen limits.
Nonpoint Nutrient Management– Monitoring and data assessment has been the focus of nonpoint source nutrient tracking. A more aggressive manage ment program with implementation projects and management controls is need ed within 10-years in order for the BCR to comply with standards.
Major Events Likely to Alter Stream and Lake/Reservoir Quality– This is a broad category of 10-year management and implementation programs that tar get stream biology and fishery health; harmful algal blooms (HABs); Climate Shifts; stormwater events and loadings, onsite wastewater systems, reservoir reallocations, reservoir modifications, wildfire, urbanization/ big develop ments, and erosion controls.