A trial began Wednesday to determine whether or not the City of Colorado Springs violated water laws by flushing sediments down Fountain Creek and into the lower Arkansas River. The trial has been long in the making.

The Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District (LAVWCD) filed suit against the City of Colorado Springs in 2016 after the city failed multiple inspections of their MS4 Permit. It was dumping sediments and other debris into Fountain Creek and the Arkansas River. "We've been working on sediments and water quality issues since February of 2005," said Jay Winner, general manager of the LAVWCD.

In 2013, the City of Colorado Springs failed their MS4 Permit and in 2015 they failed again. "So we along with others filed suit in 2016," Winner said. Other plaintiffs include the Colorado Department of Health and Environment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Pueblo County Board of County Commissioners.

"This is storm water," said Winner. "It's like when water runs out of parking lots and et cetera. It's highly contaminated with E. Coli." Winner emphasized that E. Coli could threaten crops in the lower Arkansas Valley. He said the bedlam the water transports with it is also a large problem, particularly for North La Junta. "I think that's one of the issues in North La Junta where the dam has come up, I think, 31 feet since 1970."

Winner is confident that the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District and the other plaintiffs will win the suit. "I think we'll win. They are in clear violation of the MS4 Permit."