Paper: Characterization of Ammonia, Methane, and Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations in Northeastern Colorado — CIRES


Here’s the abstract (Scott J. Eilerman, Jeff Peischl, J. Andrew Neuman, Thomas B. Ryerso, Kenneth C. Aikin, Maxwell W. Holloway, Mark A. Zondlo, Levi M. Golston, Da Pan, Cody Floerchinger, and Scott Herndon):

Atmospheric emissions from animal husbandry are important to both air quality and climate, but are hard to characterize and quantify as they differ significantly due to management practices and livestock type, and they can vary substantially throughout diurnal and seasonal cycles. Using a new mobile laboratory, ammonia (NH3), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and other trace gas emissions were measured from four concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in northeastern Colorado. Two dairies, a beef cattle feedlot, and a sheep feedlot were chosen for repeated diurnal and seasonal measurements. A consistent diurnal pattern in the NH3 to CH4 enhancement ratio is clearly observed, with midday enhancement ratios approximately four times greater than nighttime values. This diurnal pattern is similar, with slight variations in magnitude, at the four CAFOs and across seasons. The average NH3 to CH4 enhancement ratio from all seasons and CAFOs studied is 0.17 (+0.13/–0.08) mol/mol, in agreement with statewide inventory averages and previous literature. Enhancement ratios for NH3 to N2O and N2O to CH4 are also reported. The enhancement ratios can be used as a source signature to distinguish feedlot emissions from other NH3 and CH4 sources, such as fertilizer application and fossil fuel development, and the large diurnal variability is important for refining inventories, models, and emission estimates.

#Colorado, #Wyoming Move Forward with #ColoradoRiver Diversions — Public News Service #COriver

Fontenelle Reservoir and Dam, at Green River. Kemmerer, WY - USA March 12, 2016. Photo credit ruimc77 via Flickr.
Fontenelle Reservoir and Dam, at Green River. Kemmerer, WY – USA March 12, 2016. Photo credit ruimc77 via Flickr.

From The Public News Service:

Wyoming has moved one step closer to getting more water for ranching, agriculture and industrial development.

The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources has advanced a bill that would allow the state to take an additional 125,000 acre-feet of water from the Green River at the Fontenelle Dam…

State officials say expanding the Fontenelle is necessary for farmers and ranchers who need a reliable water supply to keep crops and livestock healthy.

They feel the measure would also be an economic incentive for new businesses to grow and create jobs in southwestern Wyoming…

[Gary Wockner] notes Wyoming isn’t the only state trying to get more water from a shrinking source.

He points to a proposal by Denver Water to expand the Gross Dam that would remove an additional 5 billion gallons annually from the Colorado.

While upper-basin states may technically have rights to the water, Wockner says the challenges of a changing climate and 16 years of drought can’t be ignored.

The dam that forms Gross Reservoir, located in the mountains west of Boulder. Photo: Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism
The dam that forms Gross Reservoir, located in the mountains west of Boulder. Photo: Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

Lyons residents on flood recovery process: ‘We’re just starting to get it together’ — The Boulder Daily Camera

Bohn Park was flooded by the St. Vrain River in Lyons, CO September 18, 2013 via Getty Images
Bohn Park was flooded by the St. Vrain River in Lyons, CO September 18, 2013 via Getty Images

From The Boulder Daily Camera (Amelia Arvesen):

As Lyons entered its fourth year of reconstruction following the devastating September 2013 flood, the FBI and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development stopped by to seize documents and computers to probe the handling of federal flood-recovery funding.

Communities savaged by the rushing waters have been receiving fund allocations, totaling millions of dollars from several federal sources, such as HUD and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Late Friday, Mayor Connie Sullivan released a statement on behalf of the town’s Board of Trustees, stating that the FBI had concluded its portion of the investigation and would not be proceeding with a case.

Also posted to the town’s website was a copy of a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, stating that a focus of its investigation was documents relating to negotiations and grant services contracts between Lyons and Longmont-based Front Range Land Solutions.

Fort Collins: Water and sewer rate hikes in the works for budget

Fort Collins back in the day via Larimer County
Fort Collins back in the day via Larimer County

From the Fort Collins Coloradoan (Kevin Duggan):

The recommended 2017-18 budget for Fort Collins calls for higher rates in all of the city’s utilities — electrical, water, wastewater and stormwater. Inflation and higher operating costs are driving the proposed increases, but so are long-range plans to build and maintain costly infrastructure needed to provide services to a growing community, said Mike Beckstead, the city’s chief financial officer.

Although charges would vary, the proposed rate increases would add approximately $6.29 per month to the average residential customer bill in 2017, bringing average monthly payments to $166.69. Another $4.65 per month would be added in 2018.

Overall rates for water service would increase 5 percent in 2017 and 2018, wastewater service would increase 3 percent each year, and stormwater charges would increase 5 percent next year but would not change in 2018.

Those increases would help the utilities build up funds to pay for projects in 10-year capital improvement plans, said Lance Smith, strategic financial director for utilities…

Reducing the water and stormwater rate increases from 5 percent to 3 percent would in 2017 save the average residential customer about $1.15 a month, Smith said.

Without the 5 percent increases, plans to hire two full-time water conservation specialists and a construction inspector would have to wait a year, Smith said. A $1.4 million project to rehabilitate Mail Creek in southeast Fort Collins would not be funded.

Utilities projects currently funded in the proposed budget include:

  • Replacement of aging water mains in high-priority areas: $1.9 million in 2017; $1.35 million in 2018.
  • Replacement of infrastructure in the city’s Water Quality Lab: $1.3 million each year.
  • Replacement of a raw water line running from the Poudre River to the city’s water treatment facility: $800,000 in 2017.
  • Replacement of equipment used to remove water for wastewater sludge and stabilize biosolids to be spread at Meadow Springs Ranch: $2.1 million each year.
  • Improvements to the oxbow levee on the Poudre River and to keep the Buckingham neighborhood out of the designated 100-year floodplain: $850,000 in 2017.
  • Construction of the third phase of a stormwater system between Lemay Avenue and Redwood Street: $1.6 million in 2017; $1.7 million in 2018.
  • The addition of 10 full-time employees in a variety of roles, including conservation programs: $793,000 in 2017.
  • […]

    The council is scheduled to adopt the budget in November. For online information about the budget, visit

    Tests from some homes in the Little Thompson Water District show elevated levels of lead

    Roman lead pipe -- Photo via the Science Museum
    Roman lead pipe — Photo via the Science Museum

    From The Loveland Reporter-Herald (Pamela Johnson):

    “It is still considered safe (to drink), but you want to follow the six steps to reduce exposure,” said Ken Lambrecht, operations manager with the Little Thompson Water District, which has 8,000 taps in its service area.

    Water providers are required to sample for lead in drinking water, and the most recent samples taken by the Little Thompson district came back with 11 that exceeded 15 micrograms per liter. When this happens, the water district is required to alert customers of the results and health risks of exposure to lead.

    Lead, though common in the environment, can cause health problems, including kidney and brain damage, and children are particularly susceptible to exposure.

    There are several sources of exposure, including paints, soil and plumbing. Lead can leach into drinking water through systems with lead pipes or copper pipes that have lead soldering, which are more common in buildings that were constructed in the 1980s.

    It was from these high-risk homes, built between 1982 and 1988, that the Little Thompson Water District took samples for its most recent testing. They collected 30 samples, which were sent to a laboratory with 27 additional vials of water that specific customers asked to have tested. Of those 57 total, 11 exceeded the 15 micrograms per liter sample. The overall results ranged from undetectable to the highest reading of 65.8 micrograms per liters, according to the water district.

    Only three of the 11 elevated samples, however, were taken after March 31, which is when the Carter Lake Treatment Plant changed some of its chemicals, Lambrecht noted. That, he continued, shows that those treatment changes appear to be working to control lead levels.

    The samples all came from single-family homes within the district, which spans from the south side of Loveland to the north edge of Longmont and from Carter Lake east to Evans in Weld County and also includes some customers west of Loveland…

    Customers of the Little Thompson Water District are advised to take…precautions, including:

    • If you haven’t had the water running for several hours, flush out the system by running cold water until it is noticeably colder. (Save that waster for plants or cleaning.)

    • Always use cold water for drinking, cooking and preparing baby formula. (Note: Boiling water does not reduce lead.)

    • Periodically remove and clean the faucet’s strainer and aerator and run water to remove debris.

    • Consider installing a water treatment device

    • Have a licensed electrician check your home’s wiring because, if grounding wires are attached to pipes, the risk of corrosion may increase.

    Loveland: Algae bloom in Green Ridge Glade Reservoir update

    Green Ridge Glade Reservoir
    Green Ridge Glade Reservoir

    From The City of Loveland (Gretchen Stanford):

    I hear your concerns about the water quality and taste and odor issues we are experiencing in Loveland. My goal is to be as transparent as possible by sharing information about what is causing the taste and odor issues in Loveland and what Loveland Water and Power (LWP) is doing to resolve the problem.

    Loveland has been abuzz for months about the unusually large, stubborn algae bloom at Green Ridge Glade Reservoir, one source of Loveland’s drinking water. Although this bloom is fierce, the drinking water in Loveland still meets federal regulatory requirements, plus even more-stringent state standards, for drinking water.

    This algae bloom in particular is the largest we have ever seen. As a result of the 2013 flood, more nutrients have entered into runoff as it makes its way to our reservoir. The extreme heat and abundant sunshine we have had this summer developed into the perfect storm for an enormous algae bloom.

    This bloom has revealed new algae species that reproduce more quickly and produce stronger geosmin, the compound that causes taste and odor issues. Additionally, the Big Thompson River is now afflicted with a significant level of the same algae. We cannot treat the free-flowing river water in the same way as we do the reservoir. And at this time, we are blending water from both the river and the reservoir at the Water Treatment Plant (WTP).

    LWP water quality specialists are closely monitoring water quality by testing water samples at the Water Treatment Plant as well as at homes and businesses throughout the city on a daily basis. We are also treating the reservoir with a hydrogen peroxide-based algaecide that was developed as an environmentally safe alternative to copper-based algaecides. The only end-products of the treatment we use are oxygen and water. In addition, we are using a safe, absorbent activated-carbon compound inside the treatment plant to remove as much taste, odor and color from the water as possible.

    Our technical staff continues to explore safe alternatives for treating algae blooms in the future while walking a thin line between the price tag of new technology and reasonable rates for our customers. Next week, LWP will begin a feasibility study to evaluate options for algae mitigation. The study will include permanent aeration or oxygenation system in the reservoir. We will also do a preliminary design of a larger system to store and dispense the activated carbon compound at the WTP. Unfortunately, those large capital costs are currently not budgeted.

    While we would like to predict when the algae will die, it is important to note that algae is a living, unpredictable organism. Blooms usually end shortly after the first frost but we have no way to predict when that might be. We will continue to update our website http://www.cityofloveland/waterquality and Facebook page with timely information as we receive it.

    The safety and quality of our drinking water is one of LWP’s most important goals. We recognize the vital role water plays in our daily lives. LWP takes water quality very seriously and will continue to produce safe, clean drinking water for our customers. We ask for your patience while we work to resolve this problem and find a way to prevent it in the future.

    From The Fort Collins Coloradoan (Jacy Marmaduke):

    An algae bloom in Green Ridge Glade Reservoir, the worst Loveland’s Water and Power division has experienced, is to blame for the unsavory taste and odor plaguing the city’s water supply. The blue-green algae is harmless, health-wise, according to state lab test results.

    While the minuscule taste-and-odor compound released by the algae makes the taste disgusting, a lucky 25 percent of residents think the water’s fine because they can’t taste or smell the compound.

    Soon, the other 75 percent of the city will have better-tasting water. The first hard freeze will mean a slow die-off of the algae bloom, water treatment manager Scott Dickmeyer said. After that, the water’s taste and smell should return to normal within a week or two.

    But Loveland will have to invest in some new mitigation methods to keep the algae at bay.

    Green Ridge Glade has always been susceptible to algae growth because it’s deep and relatively still. It’s not a recreation hub like Horsetooth Reservoir, from which Fort Collins gets its water, and water doesn’t flow in and out of it at a rapid rate like at Horsetooth because Loveland is its sole user.

    So as temperatures rise, the reservoir’s deeper, stiller water produces nutrients that promote the growth of anabaena, a type of algae common in water systems.

    Loveland officials use a hydrogen peroxide-based product to kill the algae, but the issue has gotten worse since the 2013 Big Thompson floods because of the nutrient influx and the mysterious introduction of a new species of algae that’s harder to kill.

    That’s why even though the algae issue is nothing new, many residents noticed it for the first time late this summer…

    The city’s been using powder-activated carbon to remove the taste-and-odor compound from the water and funneling more Big Thompson River water into its treatment plant, but each method has drawbacks.

    Powder-activated carbon removes only 50 to 60 percent of the compound because it’s not great at trapping such tiny particles. Loveland’s treated water contains about 20 to 40 parts of the compound per trillion parts of water…

    “It’s a very, very small amount, but most people are very, very sensitive to it,” Dickmeyer said. “It only takes about 5 parts per trillion for our customers to start noticing it.”

    And within the last few weeks, algae started cropping up in the Big Thompson River, so diluting the taste with another water source wasn’t an option.

    Loveland Water and Power is considering adding oxygen to the reservoir to discourage algae growth. The division is also considering more aggressive treatment options that won’t “cost a fortune,” Dickmeyer said.

    Arvada: Rate increase in the cards?

    Arvada Reservoir via the City of Arvada.

    From The Wheat Ridge Transcript (Shanna Fortier):

    Owners of a typical single family home in Arvada will likely have to pay $1.41 more a month — or $16.90 additional a year — for water and sewer services fees in 2017.

    The average single-family home is considered to be 3.2 people and a yard. And the average single family drinking water bill in Arvada runs about $481 annually and $291 annually for sewage.

    Jim Sullivan, director of utilities for Arvada, said the average single-family account in Arvada uses 120,000 gallons of water each year for domestic and irrigation purposes and generates 60,000 gallons of sewage. Single-family accounts form the largest customer group in Arvada, using about 60 percent of the water.

    Arvada City Council heard the proposed rate increases at the Sept. 26 workshop and will discuss the proposals during council meetings on Oct. 3 and Oct. 17, also the date of a public hearing. The rates have been raised every year over the past decade.

    When taken separately, the proposed increases amount to 2 percent for water and 3 percent for wastewater. A 1.45 percent increase for water tap fees is also proposed. Stormwater and sewer tap fees are not projected to increase, city officials said.

    The increases are needed because of rising vendor prices, new equipment and materials, and employee salary raises, Sullivan said.

    Sullivan added that over the next 10 years, water operation costs will likely slowly increase as the city prepares to contribute payment for the Denver Water Gross Reservoir expansion project.

    Sources of water

    Arvada has two sources of water. The first is a 1965 contract with Denver Water. The second source is the city’s Clear Creek water right holdings.

    But “these two sources will not be sufficient to meet the residents’ needs at buildout of the city,” Sullivan said. “The city has entered into an agreement with Denver Water to financially participate in the Gross Reservoir expansion in exchange for additional water supplies. This project should increase Arvada’s water supplies sufficiently to meet the city’s needs at buildout.”

    Gross Reservoir, named for Denver Water former Chief Engineer Dwight D. Gross, was completed in 1954. It serves as a combination storage and regulating facility for water that flows under the Continental Divide through the Moffat Tunnel and supplies water to Denver Water’s North System.

    The reservoir was originally designed with the intention of future expansion to provide necessary storage.

    With demand expected to increase in coming years, expanding Gross Reservoir will increase sustainability to the water supply as part of Denver Water’s multi-pronged approach that includes conservation, reuse water and developing additional supply to meet customers’ future needs.

    “We think we have enough money in the fund to avoid issuing debt for this project,” Sullivan told city council.

    The proposed 2017 water fund budget is $29 million, with 75 percent going toward water system operations, 8 percent for debt services and 17 percent for capital improvements. The Gross Reservoir project is the majority of the capital improvements area.

    The city’s current debt service is $2.2 million, paid mostly from tap fees, Sullivan said. He added that in 2020 the water bonds issued in January 2001 will be paid off.

    The projected increase in the operations budget for water is $656,000 or 3 percent. However, the bond repayment in 2020 will reduce operating costs by $445,000 annually. Because of this, city staff is proposing to increase water rates by 2 percent rather than 3 percent in 2017, smoothing out future rate changes.

    The proposed 2 percent rate increases the water fee part of the bill by $8.52 annually or 71 cents per month. The 3 percent increase for wastewater amounts to $8.40 annually or 70 cents per month.

    It is expected that by 2023, the 20-year program to rehabilitate the sanitary sewer system in the city will end and the $2 million needed annually will drop to $500,000 for major repairs and maintenance.

    The water tap fee increase of 1.45 percent applies to new construction and would increase by $275, bringing the total cost of a single family water tap to $19,275.

    Denver Water is seeking approvals from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the state of Colorado to expand Gross Reservoir, which is southwest of Boulder. The 77,000 acre-foot expansion would help forestall shortages in Denver Water’s water system and offer flood and drought protection, according to Denver Water.
    Denver Water is seeking approvals from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the state of Colorado to expand Gross Reservoir, which is southwest of Boulder. The 77,000 acre-foot expansion would help forestall shortages in Denver Water’s water system and offer flood and drought protection, according to Denver Water.