At a Monday, March 2, workshop, the Lyons Board of Trustees will learn more information about a draft for a pre-treatment ordinance, preparing for future consideration of a vote to change Town of Lyons code.
According to information from Jim Kerr of the Lyons Utilities and Engineering Board, the Town of Lyons wastewater treatment plant is too often exceeding the permitted amount of “biochemical oxygen demand” (BOD) coming into it. As an example, from September 2017 to July 2018 the BOD pounds per day varied from 447 to 1,420, frequently over the town limit, set by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, of 705 pounds per day, and these concerns continue. It is possible that a few local businesses are contributing a significant amount to these elevated BOD levels, as discussed at previous Lyons Board of Trustees meetings.
Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) is a measure of the nutrient value of wastewater. A common source is brewery or distillery wastewater, which is typically higher in sugar and alcohol compared to normal residential domestic wastewater.
Another issue for Lyons’ wastewater is elevated levels of copper. Initial testing on a sample of older homes with copper piping shows they are not causing the problem.
Changes to town code approved February 3 by the Board of Trustees now require testing ports at all businesses in town thought to be discharging “high-strength” wastewater. “High strength” refers to commercially-generated wastewater as opposed to “low strength” residential household wastewater. The new testing port ordinance will show just how much BOD and copper is going into the wastewater from some businesses.
High BOD levels are also hindering the process of getting permits that Lyons needs for projects such as extending a sewer line to the eastern corridor (near US 36 and State Highway 66). To get the permits, Lyons needs to show the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that steps are being taken to keep the BOD under control.
The Wastewater Pretreatment Code being presented in draft format on March 2 would update the acceptable levels of certain pollutants and requires high-strength wastewater-producing businesses to comply. It includes a requirement for “pretreatment,” which is the removal of harmful pollutants before they are discharged to the sewer system. Violators could be fined and could possibly have water service suspended.
To learn more about the pretreatment ordinance
Attend the Lyons Board of Trustees workshop on March 2 at 6 p.m. at Lyons Town Hall.
To learn more about the Lyons Utilities and Engineering Board
The Lyons Utilities and Engineering Board is one of several volunteer citizen advisory boards and commissions that advise the elected Lyons Board of Trustees. The Utilities and Engineering Board (sometimes called the UEB) meets the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at 6 p.m. at Lyons Town Hall.
To help lower BOD in Town of Lyons wastewater
What can residents and businesses do to reduce the load on the sewage plant and on sewer lines?
1. Avoid using the sink garbage disposal. Better options are composting or using the trash can for waste.
2. Never flush “flushable wipes” or feminine hygiene products down the toilet.
3. Do not pour any cooking fats, oils or grease down the drain.
4. Never pour motor oil or any other oils down the drain.