Vail Daily letter: Worried about Gore Creek
In receipt of the informative brochure mailing recently from Eagle River Water & Sanitation District, I commend my respected acquaintances there for their communication to the public assuring us of local drinking-water quality and reminding us of the very major need for water conservation, including aides such as free shower-head and hose-head modifiers. We all need to heed and, I think, most try hard to observe watering restrictions and promptings to generally conserve water in household usage.I am surprised, however, that the knowledgeable leaders at the district did not stress a water-quality need here in the upper valley, namely east Vail. As I have heard in town of Vail Council meetings and have read in the Daily, there exists a puzzling substantial decline in Gore Creek water quality in east Vail from the confluence with Black Gore just above east Vail to the golf course. No, the Colorado Department of Transportation is not the major culprit, as water quality above the confluence is better. No, it is not the now very ecology-oriented golf course, as the quality below it is also better. Is the source of this pollution so toxic to the macro-invertebrates trout eat fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides applied to nearby lawns? Is it the spray applied to trees to prevent beetle attacks? Is it storm runoff, including lava cinders and sand applied by the town to wintry streets? Could it be some combination of sources? We do not know yet, but surely it is a multiplicity of sources. I strongly encourage all homeowners, whether full time or part time, to consider this major threat to our gold-medal fishery and alter their habits, as well as urge their lawn services to change theirs. Because I have faith in the value of public education in a place like this beautiful valley, I especially encourage my respected fellow water advocates at the Water & Sanitation District and elsewhere to jump on this cause and embrace it in their publications and actions. Whatever the causes, I ask our professional water managers to suggest ways we individually can lessen our impacts on water quality, as well as quantity, in order to preserve this community asset, Gore Creek.Anne Esson
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