UPDATED - 6/27/21 at 6 PM
Glenwood Springs, Colo. – Due to additional heavy rains, Glenwood Springs water use restrictions have been extended until 8 a.m. on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. On Saturday, June 26 heavy rains caused debris flows from the Grizzly Creek burn scar and heavy debris into both the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers. The City is evaluating whether the second debris flow from Sunday, June 27 impacted the City’s water system. Glenwood Springs water crews continue to monitor weather, potential effects and work to return to typical production levels.
Interstate 70 has been closed in both directions between mile points 133 (Dotsero) and MP 116 (Main Glenwood Springs Exit) due to a new mudslide in Glenwood Canyon. The eastbound closure point is now MP 87 (Rifle). Motorists are recommended to take the northern detour route. Debris area is estimated to be larger than yesterday's slide. For the latest information on I-70 road closure information, visit cotrip.org or visit the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Twitter Page.
“Our ask for residents and businesses remains the same - turn off outdoor watering systems that may be set to run automatically and keep water consumption to a minimum in your household or business, ” said Public Information Officer Bryana Starbuck. “We have extended the water use restrictions due to the additional rain, and we are in the process of evaluating whether the second debris flow further impacted the City’s water system.”
No exterior water use including lawn watering, washing cars, or filling pools. Take shorter showers and please refrain from bathtub filling, running dishwashers, and running washing machines. As a reminder, we need to keep water usage to a minimum until we are able to get our water tanks refilled and excess debris out of our water intakes so the water treatment plant can return to typical production levels.
To reiterate, these water restrictions are not because of availability of water or our general water supply. These are emergency precautions in response to a massive rain event that caused a heavy debris flow on Saturday, June 26 into the city’s water system and slowed down our existing infrastructure.
“Without the upgrades made at the water treatment plant, at the intakes, and the No Name Tunnel we probably would not have been able to produce water at all yet,” said Public Works Director Matt Langhorst. “There is plenty of water coming down the mountain side, it is just so filled with debris that the process of treating the water has slowed. We were impacted significantly, but still able to produce clean water. Thank you for your continued patience.”
Glenwood Springs specifically restricted outdoor water usage because that is where the highest volumes of water are used. Due to outside water use like lawn watering, summer water usage has been about 4.1 million gallons a day. Typical winter water use is approximately 1 million gallons. The water treatment plant is running about half of the normal capacity, we are working to get it back to full capacity and to refill water tanks back to operating levels.
“It is likely that this will not be the last debris flow event in our watershed,” said Glenwood Springs Mayor Jonathan Godes. “The Grizzly Creek Fire left us with a large burn scar right above two of our three water sources. This is why the City of Glenwood Springs completed emergency improvements over the winter and why we continue to plan for other improvements to our water system resiliency and redundancy, like the new Cardiff water tank and the Red Mountain project. We are lucky to have such a dedicated staff that continues to work to keep our water and water levels safe.”
Glenwood Springs teams continue to work diligently get the water plant back up and monitor developing weather conditions. Special thank yous to City of Glenwood Springs water treatment staff, Eric Hale, Jose Diaz, Warren Hays, Mike Hoffman, Justin Ziegler, and Kathleen Knight as well as Leanne Miller from Carollo Engineering.
Please register to receive Garfield County Dispatch emergency alerts and update your contact information at www.garco911.com to ensure you receive critical notifications. To receive important news and updates from the City of Glenwood Springs, register for email or text alerts at www.cogs.us/NotifyMe.
Glenwood Springs, Colo. – The City of Glenwood Springs has issued increased water restrictions for the entire day on June 27, 2021 until 8 a.m. on June 28, 2021 following heavy rains which caused debris flows from the Grizzly Creek burn scar and heavy debris into both the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers. Keep water consumption to a minimum in your household or business. No exterior water use including lawn watering, washing cars, and filling pools. Take shorter showers and please refrain from bathtub filling, running dishwashers, and washing machines.
“What we need right now is for everyone to keep water usage to a minimum until we are able to get our water tanks refilled and excess debris out of our water intakes so the water treatment plant can return to typical production levels,” said Public Works Director Matt Langhorst. “For the most part, a starting point would be to use water like it is wintertime. Many of the water uses that take up the most water are outdoor watering activities. From there, consider opportunities to minimize business and residential water use.”
City staff has been working through the night along with the engineers that designed the water treatment plant improvements to get the water plant back up. The plant is currently running about half of the normal capacity, we expect it to be back to full capacity in eight hours, and for water tanks to be back to operating levels by 8 a.m. on Monday morning. Due to outside water use like lawn watering, summer water usage has been about 4.1 million gallons a day. Typical winter water use is approximately 1 million gallons.
While the water plant and infrastructure did perform as designed during the debris flow, a large debris flow slid into No Name Creek up from our intake and has partially diverted the creek from its natural path. Debris flow damage, potential issues and repair plans are being evaluated.
“For a sense of how much debris we’re clearing, we currently have a turbidity reading of 500-600 within the plant, but yesterday we had a reading over 2,600 at the intake tunnel. A typical reading for our water source is less than 2,” said Langhorst. “The water arriving at your tap is still safe to use, but we need everyone to be patient and mindful today while we get back to normal.”
Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by large numbers of individual particles that are generally invisible to the naked eye, similar to smoke in air. The measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality.
These restrictions will be reviewed daily and if any changes can be made information will be put out to the public with those updates.
A reverse 9-1-1 call was sent to Glenwood Springs residents at approximately 5:30 a.m. Please register to receive emergency alerts and update your contact information at www.garco911.com to ensure you receive critical notifications.
“We want to thank everyone for your patience and apologize for the inconvenience and early morning alert. This was a necessary, emergency action because outdoor water use continued through the night despite requests to temporarily suspend outdoor watering and irrigation use was drawing down the water storage at a rapid pace,” said Public Information Officer Bryana Starbuck. “We need to maintain a certain level of storage in the tanks to be sure we’re prepared to respond to fire emergencies and have sufficient water for indoor use.”