Comprehensive Water Quality Planning Initiative

CELEBRATING APPROVAL OF THE TETON COUNTY WATER QUALITY MASTER PLAN PROJECT:

Teton County, WY has embarked on an unprecedented comprehensive water quality planning project that will improve our surface and groundwater resources and protect them from future degradation. POWJH has been a driving force behind this historic effort.

The Teton County Water Quality Master Plan (WQMP) project is a comprehensive scientific analysis and implementation plan that will identify known and possible threats to our groundwater and surface waters. It will outline detailed mitigation strategies that provide a clear set of roles and responsibilities for the various local entities that oversee water resources management.

The project partners include representatives from Teton County, Protect Our Water Jackson Hole, Teton Conservation District, and the Town of Jackson. Collectively, the partners selected Trihydro as the technical consultant to lead the project supported by Flitner Strategies for public engagement and stakeholder facilitation.

The WQMP will address the management of wastewater, drinking water, stormwater and nonpoint source pollution, and water resources for wildlife and recreation. The scope of work also calls for community outreach & education, stakeholder engagement, and public input.


Members of the public are invited and encouraged to participate throughout the process.
Stay engaged and informed and share your input here:

POWJH Impact Timeline

Here are the steps POWJH took to get the Water Quality Master Plan 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. POWJH and Teton County agreed to expand the scope of the planning effort to include comprehensive water quality planning addressing additional issues such as stormwater runoff, sedimentation, and E. coli.
 
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.

Read the Revised Proposal

Funding Approval

Teton County Commissioners approve first-year funding to begin the comprehensive water quality planning process.

On June 30th, 2020, the Commissioners approved first-year funding to begin the comprehensive water quality planning process and included $500,000 in the FY2022 budget to fund the expanded planning effort.

Assessment & Plan of Work

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

In cooperation with the project partners, Teton County released a Request for Qualifications in July 2021 to secure the services of a water quality consultant to lead the water quality planning effort.

In August 2021, the selection committee, composed of staff from POWJH, Teton County, Teton Conservation District, and the Town of Jackson, evaluated proposals, conducted interviews, and prepared a recommendation of Notice of Award for a consultant to lead the effort.

In September 2021, Teton County Commissioners approved Trihydro as the consultant to lead the Water Quality Master Plan project.

In December 2021, the scope of work for the project was approved by the Commissioners at a total cost of $1.1MM.

 

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.