The Uncompahgre River flows through Riverbottom Park

The Uncompahgre River flows through Riverbottom Park in October 2018. The City of Montrose recently awarded a contract to the company that will design testing for flow and temperature upriver from the wastewater treatment plant. 

The City of Montrose has moved forward with a plan to better study the temperature and water flow of the Uncompahgre River near the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The city council voted unanimously Tuesday to hire Wright Water Engineers out of Durango $50,000 to design a data collection system.

The city is required to collect continuous temperature data on the Uncompahgre River upstream from the treatment plant found north of town, said City of Montrose utilities manager David Bries. This is needed as part of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit — which was provided by the EPA — that the city recently received, he added.

Bries said that as part of a review, staffers discovered a lack of good, low-measurement near or at the river, as well as the treatment plant discharge location.

The city originally had two bidders: the aforementioned Durango company and Colorado Water and Civil Contractors, INC, out of Littleton.

Even though the latter bidder had a lower amount of $35,750, Colorado Water and Civil Contractors’ proposal didn’t include design services, Bries said. Meanwhile, Wright Water Engineers had the right specifications to complete the system design.

“We felt much more confident that the best proposal was the Wright Water proposal,” Bries said.

He added the Durango-based company has experience with the Uncompahgre River, and has local resources and consultants familiar with the Montrose’s wastewater treatment plant.

Additionally, Wright Water’s proposal included a timeframe that had the data study system in place by March 2020, which is a requirement under the NPDES permit, Bries said.

City councilor Roy Anderson said Wright Water Contractors will make quick, efficient work on the project and complete it before that March deadline.

“It’s important to have a contractor that not only knows what they are doing but has a track record of having done this before,” said Anderson.

With this design in place, it’ll be the first time the city will collect data of the river flow and temperature of the discharge of the treatment plant, Bries said.

He also said this process will “capture that data” so decisions can be made for the river.

“We felt it was very valuable and imperative to have both flow relationships and temperature relationships,” Bries said. “We can make sure we are doing what is environmentally the right thing to do.”

Katharhynn Heidelberg is the Montrose Daily Press assistant editor and senior writer. Follow her on Twitter, @kathMDP.

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