First public meeting on the Hoback Water Project

HOBACK, Wyo. — For years, certain areas of Hoback Junction have been burdened with drinking water that exceeds nitrate concentration levels deemed unsafe by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Teton County formed the Hoback Drinking Water Quality Stakeholder Group was formed last fall to look at options that address drinking water safety issues with the guidance from the steering committee comprised of Teton Conservation District and Teton County Engineering and Health Departments. Nearly six months after its formation, the stakeholders, along with Teton County and Teton Conservation District, are ready to present ideas that could help improve the quality of drinking water in Hoback Junction to the public.

A public meeting will be held on Monday, February 24 from 6-8 p.m. in the cafeteria of Munger Mountain Elementary School. A presentation explaining the history, progress, and potential options will be given at 6:15 p.m.

One of the proposed options is forming a special district.

“We understand that forming a special district is a commitment from the community,” said Teton Conservation District’s Water Resource Specialist, Carlin Girard. “Before we move forward with that recommendation, we want to make sure that it is something the community believes in.”

If special district formation is pursued, further investigation would be needed to determine the most appropriate and feasible way for residents to access safe drinking water.

In the interim, stakeholders will be putting forth short-term options, such as providing free or discounted purification systems and septic inspections for hot spots.

Stakeholders will take the community’s feedback from the public meeting into consideration during a final meeting in March. Subsequently, stakeholders will then formally recommend action(s) (or no action) to the Teton County Board of County Commissioners and the Teton Conservation District Board of Supervisors.

“Finding solutions that will work for the community has been the top priority for the stakeholders and steering committee,” Girard said. “The Stakeholder Group has committed a lot of their time to learning about this issue, and now that they have draft recommendations, they need to see how they align with the needs of the constituents they represent.”

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