Derek Franz

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May 9, 2012
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Gypsum updates water restriction policy

They're getting ready for a dry, hot summer.

Gypsum Town Council members passed the first reading of a new water-restriction ordinance at their Tuesday meeting. The policy hadn't been updated since the 1990s.

Under the new restrictions, Phase I would be voluntary, Phase II has mandatory limited restrictions on outside water use and Phase III fully restricts outside water use, including the sale of new taps and evaporative cooling of commercial buildings. Phase IV flat-out prohibits non-essential water use. Penalties for violating the restrictions carry fines of $50 for a first occurrence and $100 for each additional violation.

The details of the restrictions are below.


1. Property owners and managers are advised to irrigate lawns that are serviced by the town potable water supply not more than every other day and applying not more than one inch (1") of water.

2. Property owners and managers are advised to irrigate lawns between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m.

3. Vehicle owners are advised to limit the use of water to wash vehicles and equipment to once per week.

4. Property owners and managers should refrain from using water for cleaning driveways, parking lots, streets, etc.

5. Restrictions 1-3 should be considered mandatory for the town of Gypsum except where No. 3 would substantially degrade air quality. Uses by the town will be restricted by administrative order to set example and also to affect water savings. Areas in which the town should restrict its own use of water include:

A. Irrigation of town lawns, open space and parks.

B. Washing of town vehicles, equipment, etc.

C. Street sweeping, hydrant testing, sewer line cleaning and general maintenance.


1. Restriction on lawn watering to every other day (odd/even schedule). Homes with odd-numbered addresses may only water on odd numbered calendar days and homes with even numbered addresses may only water on even-numbered calendar days.

2. Watering shall only take place during 6 p.m. and 9 a.m.

3. Extensions may be permitted for brand new lawns.

4. Restrictions on vehicle/equipment washing to once per week.

5. Moratorium on hydrant use permits for all nonessential uses.

6. Moratorium on the issuance of new irrigation taps.

7. Institute fines and penalties for water use violations.

8. Private swimming pools are limited to only adding water to the pool to make up for evaporation and splash, but may not empty the pool for cleaning and replacement of water. Private pools not already filled by the time this phase is implemented by the town may not be filled.

9. Restrictions on town of Gypsum uses. To be accomplished by administrative order.

A. Limit main flushing to minimum required to meet state health standards.

B. Limit hydraulic sewer cleaning to minimum required levels.

C. No hydrant flow testing.

D. Town water use for general maintenance limited to essential levels.


1. Moratorium on lawn irrigation.

2. Moratorium on car/vehicle/equipment washing.

3. Moratorium on sale of new water taps.

4. Moratorium on evaporative cooling of commercial buildings.

5. Moratorium on use of any water for private swimming pools.

6. Voluntary in-house restrictions. Encourage water efficiency.

7. Voluntary industrial/commercial restrictions. Goal is no water waste.

8. Institute fines and penalties for water use violations.


1. Restriction of all water supplies to potable and sanitary use.

2. Fire fighting restricted to prevent loss of life.

3. Moratorium on delivery of water to users outside the boundaries of the town of Gypsum.

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The VailDaily Updated May 9, 2012 01:48PM Published May 9, 2012 01:47PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.