Boulder City Council may ban PWC from reservoir

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Boulder, Colo.’s City Council is mulling whether to ban PWC and some types of boats from the Boulder Reservoir.

For about a year, the city has been developing options for the future uses of the reservoir through an update of the Boulder Reservoir Master Plan, according to the Boulder Camera.

City staff offerd five options for watercraft, ranging from allowing most types of boats to a total ban on motorized craft. The option city officials favor allows motorized boats but limits their number, type and time of operation.

"We're looking at trying to balance all the goals that we established for the plan, but also to maintain as much diversity in recreational use as we can at the Boulder Reservoir," says Bev Johnson, a project manager for the city.

The proposal would limit the number and type of motorboats on the reservoir at any one time to 20 Class I watercraft -- vessels 16 to 25 feet long -- but not have any restrictions on Class A watercraft, which measure less than 16 feet long. Boat engines would be limited to 500 horsepower.

PWC and two-stroke engines would be phased out from the reservoir by 2012 because of concerns about pollution.

"The older (boats and PWC) tend to be more polluting, and that's where a lot of the oils can come from," Johnson says.

Max Bowles, a technician at Colorado Powersports, says newer PWC are almost exclusively four-stroke models that pollute much less.

"All the new ones have way better emission control," he says.

Posted by Holly Wagner