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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-September 1, 2022-Colorado and much of the western United States has been under drought conditions for many years. With that in mind, Mt. Werner Water & Sanitation District and the City of Steamboat Springs identified multiple plant upgrades that will ensure the most is made of our liquid lifeblood for decades to come.
On September 15, the first of these projects will begin and requires a full shutdown of the Fish Creek Water Treatment Plant. During that time, water will be supplied solely via the Yampa Wells Treatment Plant until the Fish Creek Plant is back online in mid-November.
“This will be the first time, we have operated strictly on the Yampa wells,” said Mt. Werner Water & Sanitation District General Manager Frank Alfone. “As we identified in our preparedness plan, the community would rely on this strategy should the Fish Creek watershed be impacted by a wildfire, and this shut down will be a good practice test.”
Both agencies have been preparing for the project for several months and have plans in place to ensure water delivery to customers is not interrupted. However, the city is asking for everyone’s assistance to ensure efficient operations while drawing water from the wells.
All customers in the Skyline Tank Zone are required to turn off outdoor potable water irrigation by Sept 15 and it is critical all other water users do the same. The city will be shutting off all non-critical irrigation and will be scaling back watering for critical systems that cannot be turned off completely. Irrigation water alone drains 3 to 4 million gallons per day, sometimes higher than the wells can produce in one day.
Turning off an irrigation system can be accomplished by terminating the program that automatically runs the system; turning off a valve to prevent water to the system; or by any means that will prevent the supply of potable water. The goal is to drastically reduce outdoor potable water usage to ensure the availability of adequate water supply for indoor domestic uses.
“Since the average American uses 140 to 170 gallons of water per day, each of us has a large part to play,” gushed the city’s Distribution & Collection Manager Michelle Carr. “Your extra efforts to conserve water during this vital upgrade will provide for a smoother project.”
Potable water from Fish Creek and the Yampa River is treated the same and completely safe for consumption. Since the Yampa River carries more minerals than Fish Creek, some may believe the taste is a bit different than normal.
The water department will conduct extra monitoring of water use and outdoor irrigation during the improvement project. However, anyone can report water waste through the online reporting system.
ContactMichelle Carr, Distribution & Collection Manager, City of Steamboat Springs, 970.871.8204 or emailFrank Alfone, General Manager, Mt. Werner Water & Sanitation District, 970.879.2424 or emailJulie Baxter, Water Resources Manager, City of Steamboat Springs, 970.871.8267 or email