No answer yet for contaminated water below Viceroy Snowmass |

No answer yet for contaminated water below Viceroy Snowmass

Jill Beathard
The Aspen Times

How to eliminate a contaminated drainage stream from the Viceroy Snowmass remains unsolved after heavy rains this spring have ruled out redirecting it to the sewers as an option.

The water leaves the hotel’s garage and flows onto a slope below the hotel and above the paved Brush Creek Trail. It has tested positive for fecal coliform as recently as last month and has emitted an odor for years.

Snowmass Water and Sanitation District Manager Kit Hamby and representatives of Related had discussed redirecting the problem water into the Snowmass sewer system. But Hamby told the district board Wednesday that the amount of discharge has risen with the recent slew of spring storms, and he now believes the district’s facilities won’t be able to handle the flow during big rain events.

“The Viceroy is going to have to figure out another solution,” Hamby told the board Wednesday. “It’s really their problem. I just don’t recommend that we take on those flows.”

Representatives of Related are meeting with the Snowmass Water and Sanitation District today to discuss a new alternative solution for the problem. They declined to comment specifically on what that would be until speaking with Hamby.

“We continue to work with Kit,” said Jim D’Agostino, president of Related Colorado. “We’re going to figure this out.”

Related used a camera to confirm that the drainage is coming from a sand/oil separator in the parking garage below the hotel, said Related’s Jim Korpela. There is no trace of anything that would show up in a sanitary sewer connection, he said.

The cause of the problem might lie with the separator, Korpela said, a theory Hamby also has postulated. Both the smell and the positive results for fecal coliform only occur this time of year, Korpela added.

Until this point, Related has declined to comment on the situation, simply saying that it is working to address the problem. D’Agostino said the company didn’t want to discuss the idea of redirecting to the sewer system until the water board was able to comment on it, although Hamby didn’t end up recommending it anyway.

“We’ll keep everyone posted as we know more, learn more and continue to look at the alternatives with Kit,” D’Agostino said.