Waste Water Treatment Plan & Colorado EPA Shutting Us Down

"im paralyzed

i don’t know what to do

right now im frozen

the park can make it with a big loan and large fee for wwtp operator that would leave us with personal negative cash flow but we would just be able maybe to pay all out bills

does EPA care? Are they still demanding that we fix this problem fast? should i call EPA if i had any energy i would? how can we spend $1,100,000 where do we get it? If we borrow it that takes time like 3 to 6 months. Are they going to give us time or is are they going to close us down because we down have that kind of money in the bank? or charge us $10.000 per day.

life was just getting good and we were just making some money at our park and now this

$1,100,000 is a big loan on a park worth $1,500,000. who is going to do that?

this is our only source of income we can not survive without this park


I have looked at this type of situation many times, as I also have a park with a treatment plant.
To be clear- every park is different, and I understand each park presents its own set of challenges.

That said-
If I was presented with a failure and needed to replace my plant right away, I would probably look at the pre-owned systems that were used in man-camps. There are many, many man camps that have been shut down, and equipment used to run the camps is just sitting.
You might hunt down the companies that auction off, sell, lease etc the equipment for the man camps and see if a unit is out there that would meet your needs.
A couple hundred thousand might bring you back into ship shape.


Feel free to give me call we operate multiple waste water treatment plants and may be able to give you some guidance on which direction to go. No charge on the call. I hate to see people in a bind like you are.

Phillip Merrill
503 734 7400

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I doubt any of this will help any but I went through this 2 years ago with my septic system. The $10k/day was held over my head as a threat to make sure I was moving forward. Mainly I was dealing with the State of SD but they gave me no slack and because of that the job ended up costing some $400k instead of $150k (and half of that was unnecessary). I know that looks like small stuff when you are facing $1.1M but it was the toughest financial situation and there was a very real possibility that I could have lost everything. I lost all my income for over a year and still had to make payment on $600k of mortgages and put food on the table – and there were the big bills coming in for the work being done. That was the first time in life I had serious cash flow problems. Like you, I was on top of the world and in no time, out of nowhere, I was hit with this thing, that only by the skin of the teeth, I was able to survive.

I would say this – the $10k/day is a motivator, you need to make the case that if they are not reasonable they will make many families homeless. And it will help if you can get an elected representative on your side. In my case it was the local head of zoning who gave a little help when it was critical. It might help if you could have an engineer’s report that had different findings as to what must be done, and perhaps the help of your congressional office.

I found through out the process, most of the people in the regulatory arms of government look at such people as us with contempt and see themselves as superior moral creatures in the service of a higher calling.

thanks guys all your comments helps

Nothing to add but I @mikes1 and @Randy_CA stories should be read by new investors looking at private utilities so they are aware of the risks that come on private utilities. Thank you both for sharing.

I agree. Think long and hard before taking on septic. And only go ahead after educating yourself about septic systems and having adequate reserves to handle the system blowing up.

Even without a septic system, it is important not to get too over extended, resulting in reserves being too low to save you during the hard times all businesses seem to go through. In his excellent book How to Protect Your Life Savings from Hyperinflation and Depression, John T. Reed makes the point that most people who are facing bankruptcy did not think it could ever happen to them before it did. Often it is a result of a lack of liquidity.

Randy, great comments and great book. I am a big fan of the John T Reed books.

i will post later on this

Randy i would like to talk to you about my situation if possible

909-576-1324 appreciate a call

Update: I have a question do you know how many gallons per day each home in your park is using?

What I’ve learned from this experience so far: before you can design a technology for your wastewater treatment plan you need to know how much sewer water is being dumped into your Lagoon each day (GPD).

That means you need to be measuring flow every day.

That brings us to knowing how much water your residents are using per day.

I have a question do you know how many gallons per day each home in your park is using? I don’t know so that is a problem as im just now going about figuring that out.

Otherwise the EPA will assign a value or 75 to 100 gallons per day per resident and that can get very expensive when purchasing the technology because the more the daily flow the more the cost of the technology.

I have one resident using 300 gallons a day more than the other few residents I am monitoring. When buying technology for $500,000 using 15,000 gallons a day that means you’re paying $33 dollars a gallon and this home is going to cost you about $10,000 because of that flapper leak.

Again i would like to know what your average usage of water is per home and if you have you own WWTP how many gallons per day are you processing into the lagoon?

any help or ideas would be appreciated


Hi Mike,

Do you have an update on how this all panned out? Did you get it resolved and get the gov’t off your back?



thanks for asking
its been a long haul but we are almost to get approval from the State to build a lift station. We just needed approval for the Design of the lift station when we received a letter from the Colorado Division of Water this week saying we can not lift water from one district and send it to another district. In talking to the company that will receive our waste water about the issue he suggested we hook up with his company for bulk water.

My question is this a good idea. Right now we have our own sewer treatment plant and own wells and all the expenses that goes with it If we construct the lift station all the sewer will be ground up and lifted up to the District company that is in front of our park. And to get around the water issue he was saying that his company could bring water directly to the park.

So we would have in essence city water but the sewer water would be lifted to the new line in the street.

We have no choice we have to do the lift station and the cost of that is about 1/4 that of a sewer treatment plant.

Right now we have two wells, underground wiring, cisterns, storage tank, two huge water filters, a chlorinator, outside pumps, inside pumps, all kinds of wiring in the pump house, a monthly electric bill of about $350. All the aforementioned would be eliminated if we hooked up with the District water source.

What you think good idea?

would you give us an update on the cost of the lift station and how it is working now?