Successful 2020 bond issue

Published: 8/4/2020  3:16 PM
Recently, we successfully issued new money and refunding bonds, selling $251.7 million in Refunding (2020 A/2020B) bonds and $85.4 million in New Money Utilities Systems Improvement Revenue (2020C) bonds. “We are extremely pleased with the pricing ...



​Blue-green Algae found at Pikeview Reservoir

Published: 8/1/2020  11:07 AM
Pikeview Reservoir, a popular fishing lake in central Colorado Springs and part of our water system, recently tested positive for blue-green algae.  While the reservoir is still safe for fishing, humans and pets are prohibited from entering the wate ...



The best native plants for your landscape

Published: 7/30/2020  1:11 PM
If you’re looking for flowers and shrubs that can tolerate hot, dry conditions with grace, take a look at our foothills landscape in the Water-wise Neighborhood of our Demonstration Garden. This garden showcases native plants that thrive when temper ...



Colorado Springs now powered by wind

Published: 7/22/2020  9:39 AM
Only days after we announced our plan to reduce carbon emissions by 80% and close our coal power plants by 2030, we added wind power to our portfolio. For the next five years, Colorado Springs will receive 60 megawatts of renewable energy from two ...



Six steps for a green summer lawn

Published: 7/9/2020  2:33 PM
​It can be a challenge to keep your lawn green and healthy during the hottest months of the year. Here are six ways to reduce brown spots while watering within the new water-wise rules. 1. Make sprinkler repairs. New brown spots are often caused by ...



Our panels. Your power.

Published: 7/6/2020  2:37 PM
​L3Harris Technologies, a global aerospace and defense innovator with offices in Colorado Springs, is among a growing number of companies seeking to make their operations even greener. Pepe Alicea, senior facilities manager, was exploring solar ener ...



Thank you: Your input helped shape our energy future

Published: 6/30/2020  4:08 PM
We're committed to a new energy future that is cost-effective, resilient and environmentally sustainable. Through our sustainable energy plan, we will: Commit to our community with industry-leading reliability and resiliency and support the econom ...



Six energy-saving summer tips

Published: 6/17/2020  10:52 AM
​It’s starting to heat up, and your energy bills might rise as you crank up the air conditioner. We’ve got six tips to help you stay cool while saving energy this summer. 1. Make sure your ceiling fans are rotating in the proper direction.When po ...



Protecting our infrastructure and our customers

Published: 6/12/2020  9:54 AM
Sometimes projects fall into our laps when we are least expecting them. That’s what happened to Jed Chambers, Kyle Hinton and Jason Messamer from the Systems Planning and Projects (SPP) division recently when they went out to look at Monument Creek ...



Six steps for your healthiest lawn

Published: 6/3/2020  8:45 AM
Enjoying a healthy, green lawn is a hallmark of Colorado summers. If you’re planning to install a new lawn this summer, here are six steps to help your project succeed. 1. Prepare the soil. Smart soil preparation is one of the best things you can d ...



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Microfibers and microplastics, from drinking water to the environment   

  by  Steve  on  10/26/2017

​The next time you’re shopping for a new winter coat, cosmetics body washes and even toothpaste, there’s something you may want to keep an eye out for – microfibers and microplastics.  

These synthetic materials are found in everything from the clothes we wear to some toothpaste to the little scrubby creams we use on our face or bodies to wash away “impurities.” Many of these creams are defined as exfoliants, which I’ve sometimes described to my wife as a fancy word for nonsense. I joke, but I know how popular these products are in my own family. 

Nationally, microfibers and microplastics have become a hot topic. Several stories have recently been published on how these synthetic materials are making their way into the environment or drinking water. Here’s one from NPR on microfibers in clothing.  

As a water and wastewater utility, we have both good news and bad news on the microfibers front. The good news is that – thanks to a legacy of wise water resource planning – we get most of our drinking water from first-use supplies, collected in high mountain reservoirs. So, we’re largely insulated from these types of compounds ever appearing in our drinking water.   

The not-so-good news is that current wastewater treatment technology cannot remove microfibers and microplastics from the treated wastewater zeroplastic.JPGthat is returned to the environment. Since these synthetic materials are in a lot of the products we buy, they’re leached from your clothes every time you wash them, or go down the drain every time you brush your teeth, or use certain face or body washes. Once released into the environment, they can pose challenges for both aquatic species and downstream water users. 

From the wastewater utility perspective, new regulations could be on the horizon that would force us to remove these compounds from treated wastewater. While those new regulations could be years down the road, such standards would likely rely on expensive, emerging technology – costs that would eventually impact our utility bills. 

So, what can you do as a consumer to help? Just raising your level of awareness can go a long way. As a start, some manufacturers of plastic-free products have begun to use the zero plastic logo featured in this blog. Still, we realize that clothing made exclusively out of organic materials can be expensive. The same is true with cosmetic products that only contain biodegradable ingredients. We don’t expect you to break your budget to help us avoid microfibers and microplastics. However, scrutinizing labels a little closer and sending an email to manufacturers and/or your elected representatives in Washington could make a difference.  

Our hope is that before costly regulatory requirements are dictated to utility providers and our customers, clothing and cosmetic manufacturers are prompted to bring more natural, cost-effective solutions to the mainstream market.  

Meanwhile, if you have the budget and like to be cutting edge, I have found online stores that sell organic underwear, diapers, dresses, yoga pants, yodel outfits, pirate shirts, dress shirts, Superman tights and fancy ruffle shirts. Well, maybe not all of those, but organic and plastic-free clothing, toothpaste and cosmetics do exist both online and in stores.

 
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