Union chutes water quality - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-18-2004   #1
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 228
Union chutes water quality

I know water quality really deteroriates as the Platte heads downtown. How is it at Union Chutes?

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Old 07-18-2004   #2
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Union Chutes is almost as bad as Confluence. After a rain storm lots of debris from the streets and sewers will be in every eddy. The smell is pretty bad too.
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Old 07-19-2004   #3
Join Date: Oct 2003
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I think South Platte water quality is fine. I boat confluence a lot and bring my kids there a lot. It's not crystal clear mountain water--don't expect it.

Yea, don't drink the water, but people love to make too big of a deal of it on this forum.
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Old 07-19-2004   #4
A-Town!, Colorado
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Originally Posted by cstork
I think South Platte water quality is fine.
That's crazy talk!
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Old 07-19-2004   #5
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Laramie, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 499

I found this quote concerning south platte water quality...

"The water quality is probably better now than it's ever been, even before the settlers," said Todd Harris, a water-quality specialist with the Metro Wastewater and Reclamation District.

I've been to confluence and while I do avoid going upside down, I don't think it's as bad as some people say, I for one have never gotten sick from the water there.
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Old 07-19-2004   #6
Join Date: Dec 2003
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What do you mean "Don't drink the water?" Don't drink the water? Huh? I drink it every time I paddle at Union Chutes and Confluence.

In fact I heard the Starbucks at REI gets the water for its coffee straight out of the diversion structure on stream left. They woudn't use bad water.

Personally, I've been chuggin' this fine brew for years with no ill effects. I'll be down paddlin' tonight with any luck. Yup, paddlin' and sippin and playin' around, having a sweet old time.

Of course, I need to check my schedule. I think I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon. No big deal. I just have to get these lesions removed from my back and find out why I get blurred vision and see if there is some reason I have blood in my urine, and get something to stop this trembling in my arms, and to see if my hair will ever grow in after the chemo is finished, and to burn off these little bumps that sprouted on my big toe, and to see if I really need both ears.

Otherwise, see you there!

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Old 07-21-2004   #7
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 46
doubt that Charbucks gets their water there, sorry. anyone whose paddled the chutes and taken a shower afterwards with the smell of garbage and sewage running down their body knows all to well how shitty the water quality is.
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Old 04-27-2007   #8
Broomfield, Colorado Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 61
Ok now... .lets actually look at the facts on water quality.
I have met several times over the past 5 months with Colorado Department of Health and Denver Dept of Health to increase monitoring and to get all facts of what is in the water.
The bubbles in the water and the metallic Platte River smell has also been raised by a group.

My goal is to rid of the idea that playing the Platte is bad for you. Have heard silly BS such at there is Hep A,B,C in the water.... etc....

Not there... there is a fecal ecoli #3 in which is not harmful to the human digestive system. It comes form animal waste and primarily comes from raccoons along Cherry Creek and runoff from dog parks. Sharps/Needles can be found along the river which can provide contamination to Hep, but the water itself, not at all. No Leptosporosis or other water bourne pathogens have been identified.

Most of the trash in the eddies originate from the homeless encampments under bridges between Union and Confluence.
The bubbles and smell of the river actually come from the Littleton/Englewood sewage treatment facility. It is practically drinkable at this point, but is bubbly and has that "earthy smell" .

These are things I am working to get everyone to start thinking about.

'Lurch' ------ I sure hope to see you out helping bring attention to how US boaters are involved with helping clean and protect our river. Not just talking bad shit about it.

The Denver Dept of Health will be starting to post everything that they test for on a weekly period, thanks to Jon Novick and CPDHE folks as well. We are also getting a movement forward with having parks and rec in partnership with CDPHE placing sharps boxes along the greenway in places closest to homeless populations. This can help curb some concerns with sharps on the beaches.


Anyone her ever paddled the 'Hooch in Atlanta, the Chute in South Bend, the Hudson..... makes the Platte look like a natural spring.

The Platte has some great whitewater and features to be played on and by getting out there and being seen, the City will follow through with making sire it is cleaning up it's act.

Greenprint Denver - Home is one site that shows their intent on the greenway and river initiatives.

DEH- Mayor's Water Quality Initiative

Denver Health had started to post water quality warning as to surface water being harmful to your health if swallowed.
We never know at any point if someone had a spill or other problem and is fearing litigious action if they do not waive that. It is primarily for concern of fecal coliform
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Old 04-27-2007   #9
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The bubbles and smell of the river actually come from the Littleton/Englewood sewage treatment facility. It is practically drinkable at this point, but is bubbly and has that "earthy smell" .

Earthy huh? Is that what you call it?

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Old 04-27-2007   #10
Evergreen, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2007
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I don't know what you all are moaning about... Aside from Low water early season Confluenza, the water quality doesn't seem that bad especially for water running through an Urban corridor. Also it only seems to improve after the big Douches that seem to occur at least annually. And the Quality seems to get better as the number of hobo camp (shite) sites decreases upstream.
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