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Save poop — and water

(Re: “Drying Times,” cover story, Feb. 23.) In millions of households across Colorado, people are defecating into water and flushing it all “away.” What a waste!

Flush toilets are the rule, in spite of the gross misuse of water they cause. Having used both flush toilets and toilet systems that allowed me to hot-compost my “humanure,” I can unequivocally say that with a simple change we can make a big difference in Colorado with regard to water usage, among other issues.

Joseph Jenkins’ book “The Humanure Handbook” lays out many of the environmental challenges we face these days, including water shortages and one simple solution: Stop pooping into water — start hot-composting poop! Obviously, this raises great concern and fear among people who don’t know any better (but think they do — although they don’t question the madness of flush toilets). The author explains in great proven detail the simplicity and increased safety of hot-composting humanure over conventional sewage treatment methods. With thermophilic bacteria present in hot compost, we can safely kill all human pathogens in our manure in a short amount of time. He has had his compost tested numerous times and it always is pathogen-free. What’s more, we can create amazing fertilizer — turning “waste” into a valuable resource. I have done it in several countries, to feed trees, shrubs and flowers, and the author even raised his children safely to adulthood on organic, garden-grown food fertilized by humanure compost. As it is, we already are putting all of that “waste” out into the environment and contaminating groundwater with it, even with septic systems.

Think of how much water we could save for better uses! Think of how much fertility we could create!

Jack Heimsoth/Boulder

Both articles point out important statewide water issues, however, it seems you have completely forgotten to mention a local, and very important, issue for Boulder and Boulder County residents.

Denver Water has proposed a massive size increase for Gross Dam Reservoir in south central Boulder County. Gross Reservoir sits directly to the west of our beloved and iconic flatirons, at the top of Flagstaff Road, and above Eldorado Canyon. This project is based on the future needs and growth of the greater Denver metro area, and directly depletes the headwaters of the Colorado River, through the Moffat drainage system. This project also calls for massive disruptions to the residents and wildlife of the surrounding areas. Major issues include thousands of healthy trees being removed, air, noise and water pollution, as well as dynamite blasting and the construction of a 24-hour cement factory on site.

This construction will take several years to complete. Increased traffic congestion of the two-lane Hwy. 93 and the tight curves of Hwy. 72 will be jammed with multiple gravel trucks who have come from near Longmont and through Boulder. South Boulder Creek will be a mere trickle for several years if not totally dry. Denver Water has never imposed any real type of conservation plan on its customers, and the motivation behind this project seems to be based on an ever-growing thirst for our most precious resource, as well as a never-ending desire for people to live in our state. The Dannon corporation sells bottled Denver Water at Wal-Mart for a very low price, while both corporations profit from Colorado’s diminishing water supply. Developers continue to profit as they fill in the last open spaces with subdivisions that continue to drain our rivers dry, for new houses that require green lawns, dishwashers, showers and more, and more water usage.

The residents of Coal Creek Canyon and surrounding areas met with the Boulder County commissioners a few months ago to discuss our concerns. The elected commissioners hold a special local power of law in their hands regarding water laws in the state of Colorado. They hold the power to stop Denver Water completely and indefinitely, but have yet to make a decision regarding so. Why? The film No Water To Waste available at nowatertowaste. com, profiles this subject in depth, as well as the obvious connection to the Candelas development adjacent to the Rocky Flats Refuge property, as well as the Jefferson Parkway completion.

Inform yourself and tell our elected officials to stop Denver Water now, or enjoy your wildlife running away in fear, and your Flatirons with a backdrop of blasting and smog.

Josh Betz/Golden

Fearing fracking

(Re: “Why fracking is here to stay,” Danish Plan, Feb. 9.) My fiancé and I were looking at Weld County and eastern Boulder County as potential places to purchase a home, since we aren’t part of the Boulder anointed and therefore cannot shell out half a million dollars for an overpriced home in the city of Boulder (we are longtime residents/ renters in the city). However, after reading various op-eds by Paul Danish in the BW, we’ve decided we wouldn’t touch Weld County, Erie, large swaths of the eastern portions of Longmont/ Lafayette/Louisville, Broomfield County, Adams County and possibly Larimer County with a 10-foot pole.

While Danish harps about all the money fracking is bringing (to whom exactly, oil companies? the government of Weld County?), the residents of Weld County have lost the value of their homes. Why anyone would want to have steam, water and unknown chemicals fracturing the rock below or nearby their houses (and schools, Erie) in a lateral mining process is beyond me. Not to mention the noise and pollution at the surface from nearby operations, or the ruining of one’s well water or the potential for small earthquakes, which might create cracks in the foundation of one’s home. In the gold rush-type zeal for profits connected to fracking, it feels like Danish and his ilk cannot see the forest for the trees. What’s the purpose of being the wealthiest county in the state or country at the expense of your own residents not being able to sell their homes in two, 10, 20 or 30 years? Talk about local government and big business raping the little guy on this one — and I don’t mean individual land owners in Weld County who’ve sold out to oil/gas and are making money, I’m talking about residents of adjacent communities who’ve never had a voice or a choice in the matter.

Additionally, not that I can afford to anyhow, but would you buy “organic” produce or eat meat from any type of agricultural operation in Weld County? I wouldn’t, not with all the unknown chemicals involved in the fracking process and its potential to contaminate groundwater. I hope the Boulder Farmers’ Market, the farm-to-table restaurants and the purveyors of Whole Paycheck do their due diligence around this issue.

Finally, in our arid state where water issues abound, I cannot fathom that we’re allowing fracking rights to trump water rights (referring to the enormous amount of water needed for the fracking process). On the flip side, I suppose in the future the lack of clean water will solve the problem of me not wanting to eat anything coming from any agricultural operation in Weld County. Even Colorado’s agricultural Eden on the Western Slope, Paonia, faces a dim future should fracking be allowed to take root there, only they’re wise enough to know it. Can’t say the same for Weld County.

Joni Lynch/Boulder

Fracking is a statewide issue, please be aware and note the tremendous water and air issues involved. It is coming to Boulder County as well. http://longmontroar.org/email-city-council Anne Harper/via Internet

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