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Upper Poudre Watershed#

The Upper Cache la Poudre River (CLP) is an important source of high-quality drinking water for communities served by the City of Fort Collins Water Treatment Facility (FCWTF), the City of Greeley-Bellvue Water Treatment Plant (WTP), and the Tri-Districts Soldier Canyon Filter Plant (SCFP).

In the shared interest of sustaining this pristine water supply, the City of Fort Collins, the City of Greeley, and the Tri-Districts partnered in 2007 to design the Upper CLP Collaborative Water Quality Monitoring Program. The Program was subsequently implemented in spring 2008. The overarching goal of this monitoring partnership is to assist the participants in meeting current and future drinking water treatment goals by reporting current water quality conditions and trends within the Upper CLP watershed and issues that potentially impact water quality and watershed health.

Measuring streamflow on a North Fork tributary

Water quality is monitored at nine locations on the main stem of the Cache la Poudre River, one location on the Little South Fork Poudre River, and nine locations on the North Fork Poudre River, including Seaman Reservoir. The monitoring program consists of 11 routine sampling events from April through November. Monitoring occurs bimonthly during snowmelt runoff to account for the high variability/changes in water quality driven by rapidly changing streamflow. After snowmelt runoff, routine monitoring is conducted on a monthly basis, unless significant changes in water quality prompt increased frequency in monitoring.

Water temperature, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, pH, and turbidity are water quality indicators measured in-situ using a multiparameter water quality sonde. In addition, grab samples are collected from each monitoring location and analyzed by the City of Fort Collins Water Quality Laboratory for alkalinity, hardness, total organic carbon, major ions, metals, nutrients, and pathogens.

Program costs and field sampling responsibility are equally shared by Utilities, City of Greeley and the Tri-Districts. The City of Fort Collins Source Watershed Program is responsible for:

  • Collecting representative, reliable, and valid water quality data
  • Managing the monitoring program and water quality data to ensure accurate and scientifically sound data
  • Analyzing and interpreting water quality data
  • Reporting on water quality conditions, threats to water quality and watershed health, and long- and short-term trends

Annual reports summarize significant events, regulatory issues, other issues of concern and special studies related to the Upper Poudre watershed. Seasonal updates are provided throughout the monitoring season to inform participants and the public on current conditions. The monitoring report (PDF 3.7MB) contains a thorough program description.

Click to enlarge.

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