Glenwood Springs, Colo. – The City of Glenwood Springs has issued increased water restrictions for the entire day on June 27, 2021 until 8 a.m. on June 28, 2021 following heavy rains which caused debris flows from the Grizzly Creek burn scar and heavy debris into both the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers. Keep water consumption to a minimum in your household or business. No exterior water use including lawn watering, washing cars, and filling pools. Take shorter showers and please refrain from bathtub filling, running dishwashers, and washing machines.
“What we need right now is for everyone to keep water usage to a minimum until we are able to get our water tanks refilled and excess debris out of our water intakes so the water treatment plant can return to typical production levels,” said Public Works Director Matt Langhorst. “For the most part, a starting point would be to use water like it is wintertime. Many of the water uses that take up the most water are outdoor watering activities. From there, consider opportunities to minimize business and residential water use.”
City staff has been working through the night along with the engineers that designed the water treatment plant improvements to get the water plant back up. The plant is currently running about half of the normal capacity, we expect it to be back to full capacity in eight hours, and for water tanks to be back to operating levels by 8 a.m. on Monday morning. Due to outside water use like lawn watering, summer water usage has been about 4.1 million gallons a day. Typical winter water use is approximately 1 million gallons.
While the water plant and infrastructure did perform as designed during the debris flow, a large debris flow slid into No Name Creek up from our intake and has partially diverted the creek from its natural path. Debris flow damage, potential issues and repair plans are being evaluated.
“For a sense of how much debris we’re clearing, we currently have a turbidity reading of 500-600 within the plant, but yesterday we had a reading over 2,600 at the intake tunnel. A typical reading for our water source is less than 2,” said Langhorst. “The water arriving at your tap is still safe to use, but we need everyone to be patient and mindful today while we get back to normal.”
Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by large numbers of individual particles that are generally invisible to the naked eye, similar to smoke in air. The measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality.
These restrictions will be reviewed daily and if any changes can be made information will be put out to the public with those updates.
A reverse 9-1-1 call was sent to Glenwood Springs residents at approximately 5:30 a.m. Please register to receive emergency alerts and update your contact information at www.garco911.com to ensure you receive critical notifications.
“We want to thank everyone for your patience and apologize for the inconvenience and early morning alert. This was a necessary, emergency action because outdoor water use continued through the night despite requests to temporarily suspend outdoor watering and irrigation use was drawing down the water storage at a rapid pace,” said Public Information Officer Bryana Starbuck. “We need to maintain a certain level of storage in the tanks to be sure we’re prepared to respond to fire emergencies and have sufficient water for indoor use.”