Tent State Kids – Don’t Be Skinny Dipping in the Partially Treated Sewage Sludge

Okay, let me be more precise with regard to what is being infused into our park’s lakes and irrigation systems. For lack of a better word, let me just use “greywater.”

Thanks to DenverDirect for posting to YouTube the below video. Toward the end of the video you’ll see a representative from the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center who articulates what I’ve been thinking about since hearing 20,000 to 50,000 young folk will be utilizing a large portion of City Park for their “teach in” during the Democratic National Convention.

See, Denver’s Department of Parks and Recreation–during the tenure of Kim Bailey as Manager of that department–made the decision to infuse the lakes and fountains with, as noted in the video, partially treated sewage sludge. (Greywater) Parks is also irrigating the grounds of City Park with the same, um, stinky flotsam. (Greywater)

Now, we do know that this decision by the City’s Department of Parks and Recreation has resulted in the horrible deaths of ducks and other critters who come in contact with the nefarious effects of this tainted greywater. The question, then, is what will the kids who hang out in City Park during the DNC go home with? How will the close proximity and even contact with this tainted greywater affect the Tent State kids? I don’t know. But, I do wonder… This link, once again from DenverDirect, provides the evidence of what partially treated sewage sludge–greywater– (much of it purported to come from the Lowry Landfill Superfund site) will do to bodies of water. Or, indeed, the bodies of the young’uns participating in the Tent State experience?

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Is there liability for the City here? If the kid’s start losing their toes and hair when they head back to wherever they came from, what will the consequences of that be?

Don’t know. But, it is something to think about.

Tent State at SCPNA Meeting

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12 Responses to Tent State Kids – Don’t Be Skinny Dipping in the Partially Treated Sewage Sludge

  1. Coyote Gulch says:


    Denver Water is hardly delivering “partially treated sewer sludge” to the parks with their reclamation program. Gerald has been trying to build a story around this for a long time. I think he’s caught “MichaleMooreItis,” a condition where the victim sees a conspiracy where the facts will do. 🙂

    Here’s the link to Denver Water:


    John Orr

    (See response to this comment, below, from Gerald Trumble at DenverDirect)

  2. georgeindenver says:

    Thanks, John. I guess the issue here is the lack of trust in governmental entities and the hype generated by those entities designed to justify their endeavors…whether it be the infusion of “reclaimed” water into our parks or the “Don’t worry, be happy,” mantra surrounding the official (governmental) take on the upcoming DNC coronation of Obama.

    Suppose this distrust has something to do with George W. and his occupancy in the White House for the past eight years.

    I remain skeptical about the “official” explanations over the past several years about what is causing the fouling of Denver’s park’s lakes. There just seems to be a great deal of data suggesting something is going on that doesn’t really meet the “smell test” when it comes to “official” declarations with regard to the same.

  3. John Orr says:


    You don’t trust government? I would never have guessed.

    Monkey business around water is pretty hard to do. You have so many government and quasi-government entities involved in the regulation. No one gets to claim that giving up their technology would be an “Intellectual property” violation — like the oil companies claim around Frac’ing wells.

    John Orr

  4. georgeindenver says:

    What! Me distrust government! How on earth, John, did you ever glean that from my humble postings.

    Talking about water issues, I have an interesting anecdotal story to tell about Mayor Will Nicholson who, in the mid-fifties when it was projected that metro-Denver would simply be “out” of water by 1960, became quite passionate about Denver’s water crisis. Maybe when this DNC thing passes, I’ll recount the little story.

  5. Most water systems today are infested with cryptosporidium, which water purification experts were warning governments about twenty years ago. Now it’s so bad that when ‘flu’ suddenly breaks out in ALL the schools in an area, the local water authority suddenly feels a need to ‘flush’ the system – AFTER dropping a massive dose of chlorine into the supply. The ‘flushing’ is simply to try and wash out the now-spored organisms and lower the overall bio load. What’s needed is aggressive ozone treatment – but that costs $$$. Until city councils stop handing out development contracts like flyers for strip shows in Atlantic City it’s just going to get worse. Farmers in Colorado found out the hard way that using sludge as fertilizer wasn’t a good idea – tomato seeds remain viable even after ‘treatment’. What passes as ‘grey’ water today would have been called ‘raw sewage’ twenty years ago. The standards are slowly sliding downhill… just like the sludge.

  6. (Note: This is a response to the comment from John Orr of Coyote Gultch, above)


    I’ve been waiting for you to weigh in on this issue, what with “Coyote Gulch” and all. No case needs to be made. Permit No. 2360-3-1A, obtained with a CORA request, details the list of 158 pollutants and 10 radionuclides allowed in our sewers from the Lowry Landfill Superfund Site. Denver Water does not deny that this mix goes through the recycling plant untouched, they just claim that the levels are “acceptable”. The question is why is any of this acceptable? The answer can be found in the three part series in Westword here. Short answer: secret 50-year contract to relieve the polluters of their clean-up responsibility.

    In addition. Parks and Rec is in violation of Reg 84, regulating the use of recycled water, in many ways, including lack of proper signage, allowing puddling, seepage below the root level, and discharge to open water (lakes). Wouldn’t you agree that at least the City of Denver should be in compliance with the State regulations on recycled water?

    Given your status as a water expert, I would love to have you disabuse me of my “MichaelMooreItis”. Why not a full examination of the issue on “Coyote Gulch”?

    If links don’t work:

  7. Adrienne Anderson says:

    It does warrant clarification that it’s not the sludge going to City Park lake (and elsewhere), but the contaminated liquid sewage effluent water after the solids (sludge) have been separated out that is the issue in the so-called “recycled water” that the Denver Water Board is the conveyance mechanism for, with the facility built just south of the Metro Wastewater complex in north Denver on York Street. The sludge is aother very stinky matter, being trucked to farm land mostly in Arapahoe and Elbert counties, though Adams and perhaps other counties have some of it applied on some of their agricultural land, as well. It’s gotten harder to track since Metro Wastewater refused a records request last year pursuant to the Colorado Open Records Act without prepayment of over $1,000 by a non-profit group, claiming it was needed for “search time” to simply pull the permit files. Since I used to serve on the Metro Wastewater board from 1996-1998 representing the interests of the sewage plant workers, I know how that records room is organized and that it would not take staff more than a few minutes to have pulled the files requested. So much for public accountability and fair oversight.

    Now, John Orr seems to have confidence in the Denver Water Board on this? When the commissioners were asked to prepare an environmental impact statement on this precedent-setting plan, one of them spewed forth “So sue us!” I’ll save that story for another time. Suffice it to say, the polluters knew where to pull the strings needed to do the deed, and who would dance to their tune.

    And if you think Denver Water’s concerned about health and safety, your readers might want to browse the records of what they allowed to be dumped to our original source of water for decades from the local Titan Missile factory Martin Marietta built and that loomed above, routinely poisoning the drinking water being delivered below. The documents about this would singe the hair off your neck and more. Suffice it to say, in this town, those who think our officials are watchdogs of our health and safety had better think again. Only through organized public action by independent groups can this macabre situation be righted.

    Adrienne Anderson
    (see http://www.rmpjc.org/deadducks)

  8. Dave Felice says:

    John Orr:

    I don’t know your qualifications as a water expert. I do know that Gerald Trumbule and Adrienne Anderson have researched and studied this matter of polluted water in City Park for some time.

    Trumbule and Anderson have nothing to hide. They aren’t getting paid to spend their own time and resources to call attention to this devious scheme.

    To simply take the word of Denver Water is naive. If Denver Water and Parks and Rec have nothing to hide, why are they consistently dodging the issue and refusing to tell the truth?

    The birds and fish didn’t just die for no reason. The algae in Ferril Lake fed on something. The fountain pumps don’t clog themselves.

    Over the weekend, I saw people and animals wading in Thatcher Fountain. You wouldn’t catch me anywhere near even the spray from that fountain.

    The Tent State people are choosing to ignore the warnings. They, and Parks, deserve what they get as long as this polluted water continues to be dumped in the park.

    Dave Felice

  9. John Orr says:


    Wow this is fun.

    Several of you missed my point. I said that the water being delivered by Denver Water to the parks was not “Partilly treated sewer sludge.

    Gerald: You’re right about Metro’s permit. Many pollutants are permitted at very small levels in treated effluent. There is no way to remove all of them so the state and the EPA set limits. There are too many people involved to conspire in the way that you claim is happening.

    I hope you see this. I’ve been out of town.

    John Orr

  10. Jerry says:

    John and All:

    Right you are – what is getting to City Park is polluted WATER, not sludge.

    However I do find it somewhat baffling that you, as well as Doug Linkhart and others, seem to think these pollutants are inevitable and just part of the process of recycling. The fact is that these toxins, and yes, even carcinogens, are being ADDED to our sewers (recycling intake) by the permit, which only serves the purposes of the original polluters, not the citizens on the receiving end. This could, and hopefully will, be stopped by the revoking of that one permit.

    Just ponder that – we could remove 158 pollutants and 10 radionuclides from our recycled water – with just that one move.

    You must read the 3-part series in Westword by Eileen Welsome before you make any more comments about conspiracy. It’s complicated and long, but it’s all there. If you have already read it, read it again.

    Yes, they did CONSPIRE to offload this liability on to the public for the next 45 years. I don’t see any other conclusion.


    P.S. Hope you had a good trip, and welcome back.

  11. Adrienne Anderson says:

    Conspiracy in this matter is unfortunately not a theory, but an extensively documented fact. Anyone with any doubt of that need only review some of the 100+documents which I submitted as exhibits for a federal whistleblower case first filed in 2007 over this. It’s easily the dirtiest deal polluters and their patsies in government have ever concocted, and at public expense.

    Mayor Hickenlooper inherited this deal after it was already done (in secret agreements) by Wellington Webb’s administration. Follow the money and some might understand what might have been behind some hefty campaign contributions from this region’s most arch-conservative corporate interests, who all had some very nasty liabilities to hush and flush.

    Mayor Hickenlooper seems to be trying to pretend nothing’s going on, despite all the putrid evidence for all to see of what had been predicted to be a disastrous policy with horrific environmental consequences.

    I spent 7 years of my life trying to bring the facts forward to prevent this, while pockets around town were being lined by the polluters, and our major newspapers kept quiet? Why? Documents show they were in on the dirty deal, too.

    In 2000, Project Censored named this one of the top ten most covered=up stories in the entire nation.

    It will take neighborhoods around City Park and other areas where the Superfund-site Superflush is being routed to wake up and stop this.

  12. Coyote Gulch says:

    Hi all,

    First off. Gerald. My joke about Michael Mooreism was a cheap shot. Sorry.

    My point above is *not* that the pollutants are part of the reuse process. They are due to the state of the art in the treatment process.

    I did not advocate for reuse, although I’m a strong believer.

    John Orr

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