PAWSD board approves water line between treatment plants


By Lindsey Bright

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District met Tuesday afternoon in a special meeting.

During this meeting, Jeff Shamburg, with Bartlett and West, gave a presentation on hydropower and how PAWSD may be able to use it to recoup some energy costs. Shamburg noted this was not a feasibility study, but an initial look at the possibility.

The use of hydropower, however, is contingent on a transmission line being built from the San Juan Water Treatment Plant to the Town of Pagosa Springs. This line would serve as a backup for the Snowball Water Treatment Plant.

“If something happens to Snowball, the town has no water,” director Burt Adams said.

After a lengthy discussion, nearing an hour, the board passed the motion to authorize the Town of Pagosa Springs water transmission line from the San Juan Water Treatment Plant and that the scope of work be included in the project bid for the sewer line from the Town of Pagosa Springs to the Vista Wastewater Treatment Plant.

At the end of the meeting, director Roy Vega also mentioned a complaint he had received from a property owner in the Vista subdivision regarding a foul smell emanating from the PAWSD Vista complex.

“The material being carted to the drying green house is too wet because the centrifuges are not removing enough moisture,” board chair Allan Bunch answered.

Art Dilione, with Bartlett and West, explained that, because the sludge is wet, when it is turned it releases ammonia. “Drier sludge creates less odor,” Dilione said. He also assured the board that it is not a health hazard.

The problem, Dilione, Shamburg and PAWSD project manager Gregg Mayo concurred, was in the design phase of the centrifuge system.

District Manager Ed Winton added that the greenhouse is working, though not optimally. “Once we get drier sludge that is non-septic, it will work even better,” Winton said.

By Nov. 6, two specialists will arrive to look at the issues PAWSD is having with the centrifuge. Winton was confident that the specialists will resolve the odor issue.