Glenwood Springs seeks increased compliance with water restrictions to help sustain firefighting efforts
Only you can prevent water shortages.
As the Grizzly Creek Fire restricts city water resources, Glenwood Springs renewed a plea for residents to adhere to current water restrictions, a city spokesperson said.
“This time of year, we usually draw water out of No Name and Grizzly creeks,” said Matt Langhorst, the Glenwood Springs Public Works director. “But there’s a rather large fire working its way up both No Name and Grizzly, so we had the U.S. Forest Service shut off our diversion at Grizzly Creek.”
Without water from Grizzly Creek, the city is relying heavily on No Name Creek, and supplementing it with a draw on the Roaring Fork River.
“There’s not enough water in No Name for us to rely solely on it at our current usage,” Langhorst said, explaining the city typically consumes about 5 million gallons of water a day. “But the water from Roaring Fork isn’t great. It’s got a lot more sediment in it as well as upstream chemicals.”
The city implemented an alternating lawn-watering schedule Saturday, but usage was nearly back to normal on Sunday and Monday.
“We haven’t seen people alternate days of watering their lawns,” Langhorst said. “Or, they have, but they are watering for twice as long, which defeats the purpose.”
If residents fail to comply with the alternating schedule through Friday, the city will return to a complete restriction of watering lawns for the foreseeable future, and staff could prosecute violators, a city news release said.
“If we use less water, we can draw solely out of No Name, which is ideal,” Langhorst said. “If we can’t come together as a community and use less water, we’ll have to restrict all outdoor watering.”
Due to the impacts from the Grizzly Creek Fire, water usage within the City will most likely be restricted into 2021 and potentially beyond, the news release said.
The alternating schedule is as follows: Odd-numbered home addresses can water on odd days of the month and even-numbered home addresses can water on even days of the month.
In addition to alternating outdoor watering, indoor usage should also be limited by taking shorter showers, not filling pools, setting appliances to a water-saving mode and minimizing car washes.
Excess water usage can drop the water-storage levels in the city’s water tanks, leaving less to fight fires inside town should they arise, Langhorst said.
“If a fire happens in town for any reason, we’ll need that storage, which we just don’t have right now,” he explained.
Mayor Pro Tem Shelley Kaup said she’s received numerous questions about how residents can help the firefighting efforts.
“The best thing you can do right now is conserve water,” Kaup said. “It’s critical we come together as a community and reduce our water usage.”
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