WATER QUALITY IN COAL CREEK
LONG-TERM WATER QUALITY MONITORING PROGRAM
In 2003, CCWC partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety (DRMS) to characterize water quality and historic abandoned mine sites in the Coal Creek Watershed.
Our monitoring program provides data that will be used to establish site-specific standards for lower Coal Creek.
Currently, CCWC collects approximately 75 water quality samples each year. The samples are analyzed for metals and selected anions. Cadmium, copper, and zinc are priority metals. Results from CCWC’s long-term water quality monitoring program will be used to establish site-specific standards for lower Coal Creek and in the renewal discharge permit for the Keystone Mine Water Treatment Plant. Appropriate standards and permit limits will reduce cadmium, copper, and zinc loads and better protect existing water uses in lower Coal Creek and downstream waters.
Lower Coal Creek Water Quality Standards Revision
In 2017, CCWC, the Town of Crested Butte, Gunnison County, and High Country Conservation Advocates collaborate with CDPHE, EPA, and Mt. Emmons Mining Company (MEMC) to adopt revised water quality standards in lower Coal Creek.
The new cadmium, copper, and zinc standards protect existing water quality to a much higher degree than any prior standards.