Burn runoff causes water problems

Ute Water is coming to Clifton’s rescue after debris washed into the Colorado River following the Pine Ridge Fire and this weekend’s rains, affecting Clifton’s ability to supply water from the river.

The rains washed ash, mud and burned vegetation off the burned slopes into the river, limiting Clifton Water’s ability to filter and process enough water for its customers.

Ute Water Conservancy District is providing supplemental water to Clifton customers until the runoff washes away or dilutes and no longer affects water supplies.

Ute Water spokesman Joe Burtard said he expected Ute to provide water for a matter of days, not weeks.

That is good news for Clifton residents with fish or other aquatic life and those with at-home kidney dialysis machines, since Ute uses a different disinfectant in its water than Clifton. The chloramine in Ute’s water will not dissipate overnight as chlorine does. Instead, customers needing to remove the chloramine will have to do so by adding another chemical — or waiting for water quality conditions to improve.

Ute, Clifton and the two other Grand Valley water utilities are on an interconnected system that allows them to provide water to each other when necessary.


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