Successful Projects: Improving Water Quality

There is a long history of cooperative efforts to protect and improve water quality in Standley Lake and the Clear Creek watershed. Efforts to protect the quality of water is Standley Lake were prompted by recurring taste and odor events caused by blue-green algal blooms, the last of which occurred in 1988. These efforts have resulted in many successful case studies and stories.  For the location and details on some of these projects see our Interactive Map.

Over time, stakeholders made significant progress in water quality protection, including the expansion of cooperative water monitoring and quality control programs. In addition, the cities who rely on Standley Lake for their drinking water supply (Northglenn, Thornton, and Westminister), as well as upper basin entities, joined in several water quality Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs), conducted special water quality studies, and developed a formal Lake Management Plan.

In 1993, a narrative water quality standard for Standley Lake was established which requires maintaining the lake in a mesotrophic state characterized by moderate nutrient concentrations (nitrogen and phosphorus) resulting in moderate productivity.  Water quality in Standley Lake and the Clear Creek watershed is described in the 2007 Water Quality Report.

In 2008, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment awarded a $50,000 Source Water Protection Planning Grant to the Standley Lake Cities: Westminster, Northglenn, and Thornton.

Please contact Rob Buirgy at (303) 953-8342 with ideas for additional successful water quality protection projects that could be highlighted here.