In an effort to reduce copper levels at the Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant, the Town of Mountain Village Public Works Department will begin to add minimal amounts of orthophosphate to the Mountain Village water starting in mid-November.
The towns of Mountain Village and Telluride are both working with the State of Colorado to reduce copper levels being discharged from the plant into the San Miguel River. The addition of orthophosphates (which is comprised of phosphorous) will form a natural protective barrier on copper pipes and fixtures and limit copper from leaching into our water and sewer systems.
Orthophosphates have been added to 89 different water systems throughout Colorado to lower copper levels and has been deemed safe by the Food and Drug Administration. The Environmental Protection Agency has also fully approved this method for reducing copper in the water.
This pilot program will add 1.5 milligrams of orthophosphate per liter to the water which is .5 milligrams per liter of phosphorous.
A conservative estimate shows that the phosphorus added to drinking water will be less than 1 percent of the average daily phosphorus consumption for most residents. Phosphorous is found in such common foods as milk, soda, quinoa and sunflower seeds, and the estimated average daily intake of phosphorus in the United States is 1,400 milligrams.
Mountain Village will test the effectiveness of this program for one year, and if testing results are not satisfactory, the program will be discontinued.
Mountain Village water customers were notified in their November billing statement.