Officials say Rifle’s colored water safe |

Officials say Rifle’s colored water safe

Amanda Holt Miller
Western Garfield County Staff

RIFLE ” John Otten noticed that the water at his home on Park Avenue was an orangish-brown color Tuesday morning.

“Something happened overnight,” Otten said. “I compared it to the water in the water bottle I filled the night before to have next to my bed and it wasn’t like that.”

Otten said he spoke with some of his Park Avenue neighbors and they had the same complaint.

John Stewart, the utilities manager who manages the Graham Mesa Water Treatment Plant, said he had received about seven calls Tuesday morning from folks reporting colored water.

“We can’t put our thumbs on what caused this,” Stewart said. “But it’s not a health issue. We’re producing clean water at the plant.”

Staff at the water plant were dispatched to the areas where the colored water was reported to collect samples. The water was tested for sediment levels and was not determined to be dangerous.

Stewart suspects a shift in water usage might have stirred up sediment in some piping. Sometimes, when significant amounts of water are being used in one place, it causes the water swirl and change directions.

The city was not doing any construction or any other type of work that could have caused the colorful water, Stewart said.

By the end of the day Tuesday, Otten said the color in his water was fading.

“It’s not gone yet,” Otten said. “But it’s definitely better than it was in the morning. I guess it’ll work out OK.”

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