The recent article involving Sewage Plant issues was very compelling. It is commendable that many people have been working on constructive solutions to the current overages of pollutants into our shared waterways. However, I find it concerning that the most viable current solution is to simply run a pipe straight to the Teton River to discharge the excess fluids. I realize that a larger body of water would bring the Ammonia levels into compliance with DEQ and therefore this seems like a good solution. As the Teton River is one of the shared treasures of our valley, further pollution of any level should be rigorously examined. Many "acceptable" levels put forth in the past have led to catastrophic disasters of our National waters. Although the discharge into the Great Lakes is considered acceptable by the EPA, many beaches are off limits for most of the summer due to algae blooms and E. Coli proliferating in the waters. Do we really want our local river to become another cautionary tale?
Jay Mazalewski makes it very clear that there is no capacity problem in the Sewage Plant. At the current unrestrained level of development in Driggs and Victor, when exactly will it be at capacity? Will the current residents be forced to subsidize a costly new facility to help finance endless new residences? Perhaps new hook ups should begin to pay a surcharge to offset the eventual costs. I do believe we have sensible council members and staff that weigh these issues. However, as construction is a key economic driver in our valley, many of these elected officials seem resigned to acknowledge possible limitations. Hopefully moving forward, the true consequences and costs of endless septic tanks, wells, and Sewage Plant upgrades can be quantified in detail. I am grateful to the Public Works staff and the Teton Valley News for providing a place for us all to begin this discussion.