GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Officials at the Grand Valley Drainage District say new infrastructure needs to be installed to relieve a major drain that runs across the valley.
"Really a separate storm sewer system infrastructure needs to be built," said General Manager of Grand Valley Drainage District, Tim Ryan.
It needs to be built, but they need the money first.
"The EPA has deemed stormwater a pollutant," Ryan said.
Money that's not flowing as quickly after a judge ruled their controversial fee was, in fact, a tax, and needed to be voted on by the people.
"It can convey the water, but it really wasn't built or designed under today's standards to deal with it being a pollutant," Ryan said.
They also want to install a new system.
"The goal is to make sure this polluted water or this stormwater, is removed from this historic agricultural system," Ryan said.
The district says the Buthorn Drain constantly backs up, and they want to fix it. But they just don't have the money.
"As of late, one of our sources of funding mechanisms as a fee was taken away by the court decision so that is a huge question, we don't have it solved yet, but we are actively working on it," said Chairman of the Board for Grand Valley Drainage District, Cody Davis.
The drain can't handle the demand.
"It does not have enough volume to take stormwater back to the river so it floods," Davis said.
And even though we are in a high desert, the risk is real.
"There is a lot of harm and damage that can, and has happened, as a result of flooding, so we do need to fix that," Davis said.