Our Approach

This is what Protect Our Water Jackson Hole is doing to reduce Nutrient Pollution in Teton County, Wyoming.

Wastewater Management Programs

Addressing wastewater treatment facilities and septic systems are in progress.

  • Comprehensive Wastewater Planning for Teton County has begun. With matching funds raised by POWJH, Teton County Commissioners voted to approve first year funding to start wastewater planning on June 30, 2020.
  • Pursuing regulation to insure regular maintenance of septic systems. In 2018, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality asked Teton County to update their regulations for small, onsite wastewater treatment facilities (septic systems). We’ve submitted extensive public comment on revised rules based on Environmental Protection Agency guidance for protecting ground and surface waters. We have since been informed by Teton County that the rules revision has been tabled until at least the Fall of 2020.
  • We have incentivized over 400 Teton County property owners to maintain their septic systems with the Septic Maintenance Cost-Share program.
  • In cooperation with the Teton Conservation District and Teton County, we have completed mapping of septic systems and sewer infrastructure in Teton County, an important part of wastewater planning.
  • We have successfully petitioned Teton County to add wastewater treatment plant bio-solid recycling to the latest competitive bid for composting services.
  • We are exploring the creation of an Aquifer Protection Overlay for Teton County that will identify aquifers susceptible to nutrient pollution and guide future development and waste treatment methods.

Landscape fertilizer best practices are being introduced

Our BMP's and Trout Friendly Lawns programs are combatting fertilizer pollution.

  • We have developed comprehensive guidance, including Best Management Practices (BMPs), to limit nutrient pollution from existing lawns and new construction.
  • We have helped develop the Trout Friendly Lawns program to encourage property owners to adopt lawn care practices that reduce nutrient pollution.
  • We have been reaching out to all the homeowner’s associations in our valley to adopt Trout Friendly Lawns care practices.
  • We are working on a program to encourage lawn care professionals to adopt Trout Friendly Lawns care practices. This includes a certification program for lawn care professionals who apply fertilizers and pesticides.
    We are advocating for new regulations regarding the type of fertilizers that can be purchased and applied in Teton County.

We've setup an agricultural Task Force

Property owners and ranchers are working to reduce nutrient pollution from livestock, horses and pets.

  • The Agricultural Task Force of the Fish Creek Stakeholders group has implemented projects that reduce nutrient pollution from the combination of cattle grazing and flood irrigation. The group will continue to explore similar opportunities on ranches across the Jackson Hole valley.
  • The task force has developed a Teton County specific set of best management practices to reduce nutrient pollution from cattle grazing and is developing a plan to reach out to Jackson Holes ranches with funding opportunities to implement BMP’s.
  • The task force hosted a program at the Teton County Fair called Horses for Clean Water and brought in an expert on BMP’s for horse owners that provided information on reducing nutrient pollution from horse corrals. The task force will continue to host programs that provide education to horse owners on how to reduce nutrient pollution.
  • The JH Clean Water Coalition will be partnering with PAWS of Jackson Hole to provide education on the importance of proper disposal of pet waste.

Nutrient pollution from stormwater is being addressed

Stormwater Improvement projects are being supported.

  • We support stormwater improvement projects in the Town of Jackson including SPET projects such as the Gregory Lane street, stormwater and sewer infrastructure improvements and the Cache Creek downtown water quality improvement infrastructure project.
  • We are exploring how to work with Wyoming Pathways and the Wyoming Department of Transportation to incorporate stormwater improvements with the upcoming redesign of Highway 22 in Wilson and the replacement of the Snake River bridge.

The Jackson Hole Clean Water Coalition has been formed with early achievements

Protect Our Water JH, Teton Conservation District and Trout Unlimited are founding members - and many more have joined our efforts to reduce nutrient pollution and improve water quality.

  • We were one of the three founding members of the JH Clean Water Coalition. We work together to educate the community on a wide range of water pollution issues affecting Jackson Hole.
  • We have helped to expand the overall reach of the coalition by adding many new partnering organizations.
  • We have expanded the reach of the Trout Friendly Lawns program through combined outreach.

Water Quality Assessment Programs

We are assessing well water quality.

We are launching a private well water testing program to collect samples from homes throughout the valley to better identify any well water issues.

Legal Review

We are assessing what regulations may support our mission.

We have launched a comprehensive review of all water related laws and regulations in Wyoming and at the Federal level that may help shape our future efforts to address nutrient pollution.