Teton Village - Grand Teton National Park
Wastewater planning is an urgent need to protect waterways in Teton County from health and environmental issues as population and visitation to the valley continues to grow. Photo: Buckrail // Nick Sulzer

JACKSON, Wyo. — With support from nearly 2,000 petition signatures, the Teton County Commissioners have approved the first-year funding to begin the comprehensive wastewater planning process, as proposed by Protect our Water Jackson Hole (POWJH).

“Planning for appropriate wastewater treatment and disposal facilities is critical for every community to protect public health and maintain a high quality of life,” said Dan Leemon, Executive Director of Protect Our Water Jackson Hole. “Although we’ve laid the groundwork for water quality protection going forward, there is still much work to be done.”

The effort was initiated in February 2020 when POWJH submitted “A Proposal for Philanthropic Support for Comprehensive Wastewater Master Planning in Teton County, Wyoming” to the Teton County Commissioners for inclusion in the FY2021 budget.

POWJH proposed to provide half of the expected cost of a comprehensive wastewater plan, up to $250,000, with Teton County providing the remaining $250,000.

Due to budget concerns related to COVID-19, POWJH later began negotiating with the Teton Conservation District (TCD) and Teton County staff to develop a revised proposal based on a unified approach to wastewater initiatives.

On May 27, POWJH submitted a modified funding request to the Teton County Commissioners that included funding from TCD and phased in the total project cost over two years.

On June 30, the Teton County Commissioners approved first-year funding to begin comprehensive wastewater planning. The planning process will begin this year.

Although reducing nutrients from all sources is important, it has been shown that improving wastewater treatment is the key to significantly reducing nutrient pollution and can dramatically return bodies of water to health.

Visit POWJH’s Wastewater Planning Initiative to learn more about the water quality issues in Teton County and the steps that POWJH has taken to address these issues.