City asks Rifle residents to conserve water

Officials with the city of Rifle reported that a “component failure” at the city’s aging water treatment facility has led them to issue a request of residents to curb their water usage until the problem can be fixed — a process that could take as long as six to eight weeks.

Over that time period, the city is asking residents to conserve water while repairs are made, offering suggestions such as not letting the water run while washing dishes, reducing time in the shower, and reducing the number of loads of laundry people do.

“We’re just asking people to be mindful of, when they have the opportunity to conserve, to do so,” said Kimberly Bullen, government affairs coordinator for the city of Rifle. “It’s not that we feel we’ve got a shortage of water — our tanks are full, and we are continuing to treat water, just not at the rate that we normally would for this time of year.”

This is not the first equipment failure at the city’s Graham Mesa Water Treatment Facility, which Bullen estimated is more than 30 years old. The city is in the process of designing a new water plant, as Rifle voters previously passed an additional tax to help fund the construction of a new facility. Bullen said the city has secured a state loan fund of about $25 million for a new facility, which is scheduled to begin construction after the first of the year.

Water is being produced at a reduced rate at the old facility, officials said, but they stress that water quality has not been compromised. Despite the recent failure, users should notice no difference to the water they see coming from the their taps while the repairs take place.

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