Teton County Comprehensive Water Quality Planning

In 2019, we recognized that nearly every other mountain town resort community, except Jackson Hole, had a long-term wastewater plan to address treatment needs as the number of visitors and residents increased. POWJH appealed to our donors to help fund a comprehensive wastewater plan for Teton County, WY.

Since funding approval, progress made on the planning effort includes:

  • POWJH and Teton County agreed to expand the scope of the planning effort to include comprehensive water quality planning addressing additional water quality issues such as stormwater runoff, sedimentation, and E. coli.
  • Teton County included $500,000 in the FY2022 budget to fund the expanded planning effort.
  • On July 7, 2021, in cooperation with POWJH, Teton County released a Request for Qualifications to secure the services of a water quality consultant to lead the water quality planning effort.
  • A mandatory pre-proposal meeting was held on July 29, 2021, with proposals due on August 6, 2021.
  • The selection committee, comprised of Town, County, Teton Conservation District, and Protect
    Our Water JH staff, will evaluate the proposals, conduct interviews, and prepare a recommendation of Notice of Award for the September 7, 2021 meeting of the Board of County Commissioners.

POWJH Impact Timeline

Here are the steps POWJH took to get the Comprehensive Water Quality Planning proposal approved:

Original Wastewater Planning Proposal

In February, 2020, we 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.

In the original proposal, Protect Our Water Jackson Hole (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.

Read the Full Proposal

Petition & Proposal Approval

Our Change.org petition received nearly 2000 signatures & the vote to approve the first year of funding passed.

In March, we also initiated a Change.org petition in support of our wastewater planning proposal that generated nearly 2000 signatures. Thank you to our supporters for initiating the first step to protect public health and water quality!

The Commissioners voted to approve first-year funding to start wastewater planning in Teton County.

View the petition

Revised Proposal

A unified approach with Teton Conservation District and Teton County staff.

After we submitted our initial proposal it became apparent the effects COVID-19 would have on county budgets, we began negotiating with the Teton Conservation District and Teton County staff to develop a unified approach to wastewater initiatives.
 
On May 27th, 2020 POWJH submitted a modified funding request to the Teton County Commissioners that included funding from the Teton Conservation District and phased in the total project cost over two years. Most importantly, the wastewater planning process would begin immediately.  

Read the Revised Proposal

Funding Approval

On June 30th, 2020, the Teton County Commissioners approved first-year funding to begin the comprehensive wastewater planning process.

Assessment & Plan of Work

The next two steps are to hire a consultant from outside the area who can provide an unbiased assessment and has experience in wastewater planning, and to develop a plan of work for the project.

WASTEWATER PLANNING CANNOT AFFORD TO WAIT

As our population and the number of visitors to our valley have grown our wastewater treatment systems have become responsible for treating larger and larger quantities of waste. The lack of county-wide wastewater planning has led to adverse effects on the health of our residents and our local waterways. In the absence of any coordinated wastewater planning, the economic, regulatory and environmental issues surrounding this issue will only increase – exponentially. Water quality issues in Hoback Junction and local streams highlight our urgent need for wastewater planning.