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Colorado Springs unveils new filtration system to keep pollution out of city water

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 12:54 PM MDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2021 at 1:20 PM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The city of Colorado Springs is unveiling a new way to keep our water clean!

The Colorado Springs Stormwater Enterprise, in conjunction with Frog Creek Partners, is installing a dozen “gutter bins” in downtown Colorado Springs, meant to keep pollution and debris out of the city water system.

“It’s a retrofit of our inlets in Colorado Springs,” explained Jeff Besse, water quality program manager for the city. “And what it does is it is a bagging system that captures sediment, trash debris, anything that would normally go into an inlet and would end up making it into our waterways.”

The first three bins installed in 2018 captured about 30 pounds of debris a month.

“The following year the city purchased six more and had them installed in the downtown area and continue to capture about 30 pounds of debris that we normally make it into our waterways. So it’s a great thing there,” Besse said.

Now the city is inviting the community to join in.

“We are offering sponsorships to any companies that would like to sponsor one. Today we are installing 12 more, so we will have a total of 18 units in the downtown area.”

Besse said the city will take care of maintaining the bins, so businesses will not have to do anything other than sponsor. Businesses can display their logos on the bins.

“It’s all about clean water in the United States. It basically requires us to keep water as clean as possible, anything that goes indoor sewer system we try to stop, whether it be construction, spills, anything. The only thing that is supposed to go in where inlets is rainwater, snowmelt,” he said. “I mean, it helps the city for one thing, reduces the amount of trash out on the streets, for street sweeping, it reduces the amount of work that our vac trucks have to do around the city as well, and it keeps our water clean.”

Founder of Frog Creek Partners and creator of the Gutter Bin Brian Deurloo adds it is important to take steps to protect our waterways now.

“The state of our rivers and oceans is in pretty bad repair right now and we all have got to do some thing to work together to fix it.”

The water that goes into our storm drains here in Colorado Springs isn’t our drinking water, but it is for folks downstream. In fact, it doesn’t only affect water in Fountain Creek and the Arkansas River Basin, but beyond.

“I don’t want to gross you out but I want you to think about this: when you were eating your shrimp cocktail or your sea bass from the Caribbean, you’re drinking the water off of Colorado Springs streets. It’s true that’s where it’s going. So we are teaming up the city of Colorado Springs,” he said.

A video showing how the bins work can be seen at the top of this page.

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