The Department of Environmental Quality Provides Update on Hudson Wastewater Release

By Kimberly Mazza

On Friday, May 31, the Town of Hudson notified the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regarding a release of treated wastewater from the town’s lagoons.  The release happened sometime between Thursday May 30 and the morning of Friday May 31. The Town immediately addressed the increased discharge when it was discovered on May 31.

Questions regarding  the cause of the release should be directed to the Town of Hudson. However, the DEQ is monitoring the wastewater lagoons to confirm they are operating correctly.

The Town of Hudson has a Wyoming Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WYPDES) permit from the DEQ for discharge of treated wastewater from the lagoon’s outfall to the Popo Agie River. The permit limits the Town to discharging up to 280,000 gallons per day as a monthly average.

During the time period when discharges were increased, the DEQ estimates that approximately 210,000 gallons of wastewater was discharged, which indicates that there was no violation of the Town’s permitted volume of discharge.  Based on past monitoring reports and inspections, the Town typically discharges a daily flow of about 83,000 gallons per day. The DEQ will continue to evaluate the situation to determine if any violations of DEQ’s WYPDES permit occurred. 

The increased discharged wastewater that was released was treated wastewater and would have been similar to the quality of wastewater normally discharged from the outfall, except to have been at increased volumes.

With the treated wastewater being within its permitted levels, the DEQ does not anticipate impacts to water quality from the release, particularly given the high spring runoff flows in the Popo Agie River.  However, out of an abundance of caution, the DEQ is conducting water quality monitoring for E. coli (an indicator used to determine risk of waterborne pathogens) at high-recreation areas downstream of the discharge. 

EPA Region 8 implements the drinking water program in Wyoming. The DEQ contacted EPA Region 8 to determine if there were any downstream drinking water intakes that could possibly be impacted. Based on discussions with EPA, there are no drinking water intakes that would have been impacted from the Hudson discharge. The Town of Hudson obtains its drinking water from a series of groundwater wells located upstream of where the release occurred. Drinking water systems for downstream communities obtain water from groundwater wells or surface waters not impacted by the discharge. All public water systems are required to treat water to drinking water standards established by EPA. 

Updates will be provided as further information becomes available.  We encourage the public to refer to DEQ’s “News” section on the agency’s website at

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