Minturn pipes sprout another leak |

Minturn pipes sprout another leak

MINTURN, Colorado – An old town, like an old house, needs some unexpected work from time to time. Sometimes, that work leads to other repairs.

That’s what’s happened in Minturn, which will have to shut down water service to about half the town Thursday because the town’s water system has sprung its second leak in a week.

The first leak hit a valve in the town’s main water line last week. Minturn officials started planning and stockpiled parts – many in different sizes, because no one was entirely sure just what was under the street – lined up a contractor, and received state permission to dig a hole in U.S. Highway 24.

Word went out to residents that a good-sized part of the town would be without water Monday, and work began.

That work went well, although town residents were asked to boil their drinking water for a couple of days, since the water system had been opened up between the treatment plant and users’ faucets.

Support Local Journalism

Once that work was done, though, a second valve, just feet downstream from the first, sprung a leak, most likely due to the added pressure from the newly fixed first valve.

Minturn Town Manager Jim White said town officials considered waiting through the weekend to fix the second leak, but decided to work quickly in an attempt to get the entire system working properly by this weekend.

White said the valves that failed were installed in the 1980s, and guessed age is the primary cause of the leaks. But, he added, the town has been doing more and more frequent maintenance on its water and other systems in the past couple of years, to help ensure leaks and other problems are caught and fixed before they become major projects.

In the case of Thursday’s work, White said a crew will make the initial cuts in U.S. Highway 24 on Wednesday evening, and crews will start digging about 6 a.m. Thursday. White said he expects the water to be shut off at about 8 a.m.

Drinking water will be available at Town Hall, and full service is expected to be restored by the end of the work day. Residents will be asked again to boil the drinking water that comes out of their taps, but White said he expects to have an all-clear in hand by Friday or so.

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or

Support Local Journalism