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Water supplies tight but safe

Matt Zalaznick
Vail CO, Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Residents from East Vail to Cordillera will have to put their water conservation efforts into overdrive this weekend due to a water shortage.

Drinking water is safe, the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District says, but problems at the Avon Drinking Water Facility have forced the agency to ban lawn watering and ask residents to curtail indoor use.

“There is no problem with the quality of the water,” says Diane Johnson, a spokeswoman for the water district. “Anything that’s coming out of your tap is safe to drink”

Outdoor water use consumes the largest amount of water by far, so turning irrigation systems off is particularly critical so that drinking water and fire protection are not put at risk, Johnson says.

Any home or business with an automatic irrigation system should turn it off. Many irrigation systems are programmed according to the district’s “odd/even” watering schedule, which means some are set to turn on Friday evening or after midnight through Saturday, Johnson said.

Indoor water use ” particularly laundry and dish-washing ” should be limited as much as possible.

The Avon plant was shut down after operators identified an overabundance of a coagulant used in the water treatment process, the water district says.

The plant was shut down at about 8 p.m. on Thursday, and operators worked throughout the night trying various methods to recover. At about 8 a.m. on Friday, water operators began pumping the affected water out of the treatment facility and flushing the entire plant.

The coagulant is a polymer which is used to settle out particles in the water treatment process.

None of the effected water entered the distribution system, the water district says.

The plant is being flushed and will resume normal operations once the flushing has been completed, the district says.

The water supply emergency may extend through the weekend, the district says.

“The district appreciates the community’s support in limiting their water use during this emergency,” said Dennis Gelvin, the agency’s general manager.

Residents of Minturn, Lake Creek Metropolitan District, Red Sky Ranch and western Eagle County are on separate water supply systems and are not affected by this emergency.

Residents and guests will receive notification once supply emergency ends in much the way they received notification of its’ beginning, by:

– Eagle County Alert (“Roam Secure”) messaging system

– Reverse 911 phone calls

– Web sites of local media outlets

– Radio stations

– E-mail notices sent through local business and professional organizations

For general information, contact the water district at (970)476-7480.


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