Comment

In fact, it appears that community feedback – including that made by key ratepayers within the District – favoring innovative wastewater treatment and disposal alternatives that protect and improve the local environment condition without resorting to a direct-discharge to the Gallatin, was never a meaningful consideration underpinning the draft Report’s foci.

Response

The District has evaluated “innovative” wastewater treatment and disposal alternatives, these are described in the Report. And the selection of MBR for construction does “protect and improve the local environment condition without resorting to a direct-discharge to the Gallatin. The only wastewater treatment process proposed by a ratepayer was Integrated Fixed-Film Activated Sludge, which as explained and shown in the November 27th presentation, produces a worse-quality effluent than MBR, with a larger footprint and higher cost. It does not make sense given the site constraints at the existing WRF.

Comment

“Through the Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum (BSSWSF), the greater Big Sky Community expressed clear goals favoring innovative water resources management… …In stark contrast, the Report’s emphasis on WRRF Upgrades only as necessary to achieving the ability to discharge to surface waters lacks consideration and is troubling considering the two years invested in the BSSWSF by the District’s General Manager and severage District Board Members…”

Response

1. The BSSWSF focused on snow-making as one of the avenues for the District to achieve effluent water balance. As the report explains, that alternative is not in the District’s control.

2. The statement “The Report’s emphasis on WRRF upgrades only as necessary to acheiving the ability to discharge to surface waters.” Again, this indicates that the authors of the conservation group letter did not read the full report, especially the three chapters on snowmaking, subsurface disposal, and additional irrigation (respectively).

3. The Gallatin River Task Force has formally voted to support Phase 1.