Possible solution found for contaminated water outside Viceroy Snowmass | AspenTimes.com

Possible solution found for contaminated water outside Viceroy Snowmass

Jill Beathard
The Aspen Times

An open-air drainage ditch outside the Viceroy Snowmass, which has been an odor problem for years, might be redirected to the village’s sewer system.

The drainage is not only smelly; Material leaving a pipe from the hotel’s parking garage tested positive for fecal coliform two weeks ago and also has over the past five years. It’s not affecting any drinking water but is considered a pollution problem that needs to be addressed, officials said.

However, it’s still unclear why the pipe, which drains water from the hotel parking-garage floor, would test positive for fecal coliform. Kit Hamby, Snowmass Water and Sanitation District manager, said it might be coming from bacteria accumulating in an oil/water separator further up the pipe.

“But that’s my own take on it,” Hamby said. “I can’t be sure.”

Whatever the cause, Hamby sees flushing it into the sewage system as the best solution. That still needs to be approved by the district’s board, which meets again May 20.

In addition to redirecting the pipe, some work needs to be done on the oil/water separator, which isn’t working as effectively as it should be, Hamby said.

“Right now, we’re seeing oil on both the inlet and the outlet side, so it isn’t doing exactly what it’s supposed to be doing,” Hamby said. “But we think a secondary separator would take care of the problem.”

Snowmass Water and Sanitation doesn’t have an industrial wastewater-treatment plant, so it wouldn’t be able to handle high levels of petroleum, Hamby said.

This type of drainage is not something that would normally be accepted into the sewage system, Kinney said.

“What (Snowmass Water and Sanitation is) offering to do is very generous in helping deal with this problem,” Kinney said.

Neither the town nor the district will pay for the improvements, which are expected to be costly, Kinney said.

Steve Alldredge, spokesman for Related Colorado, which developed the Viceroy and owns it through an affiliate, declined comment.