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Megan Hansen of the Nisqually Valley News (NVN) reported in their published edition of Friday, June 4, 2010 a story titled: “Onerous DOE rules may pack wallop for Yelm”

with this opening sentence:
“Proposed state guidelines regarding reclaimed water could potentially impact Yelms operations and ability to gain additional water rights.”.

However, Hansen did not mention why these changes were ‘onerous’ for Yelm.
One letter writer wrote, “The story talks all about these proposed ‘changes’ but doesn’t actually make clear what these proposals are.”

Hansen wrote in her published report:
“The Washington State Department of Ecology is proposing the new guidelines and asking municipalities and reclaimed water facilitators to provide feedback.

‘Its a very complicated rule,’ said Yelm City Administrator Shelly Badger.

‘Its very onerous,’ she said. ‘We have tons of questions.’

Public hearings are planned for the fall and the DOE said its goal is to adopt new guidelines by December.”

Ed. Note: You can rest assured this situation is “onerous”, quoting Mrs. Badger.
She should know, the water issues here are coming home to roost right in her office & it ain’t perdy!

Unfortunately, the NVN mentions proposed changes afoot, yet does not actually identify what those changes entail.

Ecology has some concern about injecting Class A reclaimed water into groundwater and hence, the area’s aquifers. Their concern is perhaps justified, what with pharmaceuticals and personal care products being flushed down the city’s toilets and into the sewer, ending up in reclaimed water.
Bottom line, some of these drugs are going into the groundwater and can unknowingly be ingested by aquatic life & end up in human drinking water, drinking water with pharmaceuticals consumed by children that can affect their young growth. Former Yelm city-critic Ed Wilsie brought this issue to the Yelm City Council on Oct. 24, 2006 and said this would land on the city’s doorstep. Now it has.

Badger IS correct – this would be an “onerous” rule for the city to implement. The issue for the City of Yelm is an impairment clause which says in affect, that municipalities must show no impairment through an impairment analysis to other water users.
If implemented, the changes would require that no water rights holders would be impaired “downstream” of the aquifer from where a municipality has a reclaimed water facility and is withdrawing water from the aquifer, then recharging the aquifer through the injection method (like Yelm). Spraying water to percolate back into the aquifer would be allowed, i.e. watering the High School’s & Longmire Park ball fields. some environment groups have called for no direct injection of reclaimed water into the aquifer.


Posted by Steve on June 7, 2010 at 5:11 am | Permalink

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