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The original item was published from 4/20/2018 11:11:12 AM to 5/28/2018 12:15:02 AM.

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City of Steamboat Springs NEWS

Posted on: April 20, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Mandatory Stage 2 Water Restrictions Go Into Effect May 1

Water Restrictions

The four Steamboat Springs area water districts – Mount Werner Water, City of Steamboat Springs, Steamboat II Metro District and Tree Haus Metro District – will institute mandatory stage 2 water restrictions starting May 1, 2018.

“I believe everyone was expecting this announcement with the winter the Yampa Valley has experienced,” said Frank Alfone, Mount Werner Water District General Manager. “As we’ve seen in recent years, early adoption of stage 2 restrictions and a conservative approach makes sense for the conditions the area is seeing at this point.”

The NOAA Climate Prediction Center is predicting normal precipitation this summer with a chance (33% to 40%) of below normal moisture during the months of May through July.  In addition, the temperature outlook indicates a 40% to 50% chance of above normal temperatures from May through August.

The SWE at the Tower SNOTEL site has hovered around 80% recently; however, for most of the winter, the recording registered below the 80% average benchmark. Run-off is expected to be at or near average with a moderate chance that run-off would be accelerated due to projected higher 2018 summer temperatures. Steamboat depends upon a combination of natural flows and reservoir releases from the Fish Creek watershed to carry it through the summer, fall and winter.

“While the area has seen important rain and snow over the past few weeks, we’ll need steady precipitation to move away from stage 2,” said Jon Snyder, Public Works Director for the City of Steamboat Springs. “On the other hand, if conditions deteriorate, restrictions can also be increased. Still, with everyone’s early cooperation, we’ll be in the best position for whatever Mother Nature sends our way.”

Early implementation of the stage 2 watering schedule will also allow lawns, shrubs and trees to adapt quickly in the growing season and enables automatic systems to be set by landscapers, businesses and homeowners to the Stage 2 schedule right from the start of the season.

Through these restrictions and continued efforts by water users to reduce water demands, the community is able to strike a balance between conserving water supplies in the reservoirs and maintaining the riparian health of Fish Creek and the Yampa River.

Stage 2 water restrictions are in accordance with the Steamboat Springs Water Conservation Plan adopted in 2011 by the Steamboat Springs City Council and Board of Directors of Mount Werner Water District. Stage 2 mandatory restrictions were most recently enacted last summer as well as in 2015, 2013 and 2012.


Mandatory Stage 2 Water Restrictions

  • Potable water shall be used for beneficial purposes and should not be wasted.
  • No outdoor watering 10AM – 6PM.
  • Watering schedule based on the last number of customer street address. If multiple addresses are served by a single system, then landscapers should choose one or the other schedule.











No Watering




  • Vehicle washing at residences only with a bucket or spring-loaded hose nozzle. Residents are encouraged to use biodegradable detergent and to wash the vehicle on a permeable surface. 
  • Avoid wasting potable water such as washing hard surfaces (e.g. driveways, sidewalks, parking areas). Use a broom, powerbroom, powerblower, compressed air or vacuum. Residents and contractors may powerwash siding or wooden decks in preparation for painting or staining. 
  • Any water feature that uses potable water must be a recycling system and must have an approved backflow prevention device on its make-up water supply. Running an outdoor water feature that sprays or splashes water into the air or has a surface area greater than 200 square feet is prohibited. 
  • No use of domestic water for dust control.
  • Limit the filling of swimming pools to one filling per year, unless draining for repairs.
  • Permits may be secured for newly-sodded lawns and newly-planted trees for up to 14 consecutive days and for newly-seeded lawns for up to 25 consecutive days.

Tips for conserving water 

  • Avoid watering in windy conditions.
  • Adjust sprinklers to avoid watering hard surfaces. 
  • Set timers to avoid over-watering. Less water will induce grassroots to seek water deeper in the soil horizon which will strengthen your lawn.
  • Our clayey soils slow the penetration of water, so it is better to water for three short intervals than for one long interval.
  • When irrigating with a hose, use a spring-loaded nozzle, not a free-running hose. 
  • Cut your lawn no shorter than 3 inches to reduce soil moisture loss and to promote deeper roots.
  • Avoid planting trees and shrubs or sodding new lawns during the drier, hotter months. 
  • Plant native grasses and shrubs or drought-tolerant species in place of water-intensive species.

Rebates for water-efficient replacement toilets, dishwashers and clothes washers are still available for Mount Werner Water customers by calling the Mount Werner Water office, 879-2424, or for city customers by calling City Hall, 970-871-6303.

For more information on water saving tips and a list of drought-resistant plant species, please visit the city or district websites:,, and


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