JACKSON, Wyo. — One of Teton County’s greatest assets has always been the abundant, cold and clean water that feeds the Upper Snake River watershed. This watershed sustains the Snake River Alluvial Aquifer, a federally—designated sole-source aquifer that provides drinking water to the residents and visitors of Jackson Hole.
As the population and number of visitors to Jackson Hole have grown, local wastewater treatment systems have become responsible for treating larger and larger quantities of waste.
Unfortunately, a strong body of evidence exists that confirms the Snake River watershed and alluvial aquifer are being contaminated and that a lack of proper wastewater management is playing a significant role.
“The lack of county-wide wastewater planning threatens the health of Jackson’s residents as well as our local waterways,” says Brad Nielson, the Chairman of the Board for Protect Our Water Jackson Hole (POWJH).
“In the absence of any coordinated wastewater planning, the economic, regulatory and environmental issues surrounding this issue will only increase — exponentially.”
Serious drinking water quality issues in Hoback Junction, elevated E. coli bacteria levels in local streams and nuisance algae blooms highlight the urgent need for wastewater planning in Jackson Hole.
POWJH is proposing to partner with Teton County to complete an urgently-needed Wastewater Management Plan for Jackson Hole. As part of this proposal, POWJH will fund half of the cost for completing the plan up to a sum of $250,000 with the remainder of the cost being funded by Teton County.
POWJH is asking the community to join them in petitioning the Board of County Commissioners to support their Community Wastewater Planning Proposal to protect public health and water quality across Teton County.