WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Trailered boating on Standley Lake will continue to be prohibited for 2020 and beyond, according to city officials.
In March of this year, the City of Westminster banned the boats to prevent the risk of a zebra and quagga mussel (ZQM) infestation.
Since that decision was made, there have been months of discussions involving staff and a citizen task force, the city said. They worked closely to create and review potential solutions, however, no acceptable solutions were found.
“The city’s number one priority is providing reliable, healthy drinking water and Standley Lake is the source for over 300,000 people from three cities – Northglenn, Thornton and Westminster,” said Public Works and Utilities Director Max Kirschbaum.
Boaters had suggested their own solution, called one boat, one lake. If it was implemented, any boats that used at Standley Lake would have to stay there through the season. They could only leave the water to get gassed up or washed.
Boaters argued that would prevent the transfer of the mussels from other bodies of water.
Zebra and quagga mussels are a non-native aquatic species that have the potential for significant damage.
They are a growing threat to Colorado water resources because once they are established in a body of water, they decimate local ecosystems. They also clog potable water infrastructure and cause algae blooms that threaten water quality, Westminster said.
If ZQM enter Standley Lake, the cost of remediation for Westminster is estimated at $10 million in capital expenses and $3 million in annual operating costs, significantly increasing the cost to deliver water, according to city officials.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) had reported that the number of intercepted boats in the state of Colorado carrying ZQM has more than tripled since 2007.
The city will continue recreational opportunities on and around the lake that do not pose a significant threat to water quality.
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