Red Cliff residents have water again |

Red Cliff residents have water again

Lauren Glendenning
Vail Daily
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

RED CLIFF, Colorado – Red Cliff residents have gotten their water back, but the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District is asking that people conserve their water in order to prevent putting too much demand on the freshly repaired system.

Water district crews have been working around the clock to restore water to households after learning that part of a water main had frozen last week.

The water district is the contracted service provider for the town of Red Cliff, but the town owns its own water system.

Diane Johnson, spokeswoman for the water district, said crews got a heating system operational Saturday that heats small portions of the water coming from the town’s water tank and then feeds down through the cold pipes into town.

“The system pumped 140-degree water into the existing 28-degree water,” Red Cliff Mayor Ramon Montoya said. “The blended warm water broke through the ice.”

The water district had also been flushing the system in recent weeks, meaning it moved water through the system and flushed hydrants, which created demand to pull water through the system, Johnson said. The water district had been using this strategy for the last couple of weeks to resolve Red Cliff’s freezing issues, she said.

Warm weather on Saturday helped fix some of the problems the town had faced in recent weeks, too, she said.

The water district also did excavation work to heat the ground and nearby water pipes, which may have helped.

Red Cliff also got a full water storage tank in recent days because of the frozen blockage in the water main, which created more pressure in the pipe leading down to town. Johnson said the tank had not been full for a few weeks because of all of the water bleeding that had been done to keep water flowing through the system.

There’s no way of knowing exactly which remedy worked best, but a combination of these fixes got the town’s water running again as of 4:30 a.m. Sunday.

Johnson said the water is safe to drink, but conserving water will help the water district get Red Cliff’s water system back to normal operations, she said.

Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or

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