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A Big Rainfall Could Mean Big Problems for Greeley Water

Close to Home, Flickr

It was well documented that Greeley gets it’s water from the mountains near where the first wildfire was burning earlier this spring near Fort Collins. The residents in Greeley lucked out though, that the ash and soot from the Hewlett Gulch Fire didn’t affect their drinking water. That could all change. Should a big rainfall come, that could mean big problems for Greeley’s water.

At a city council meeting Tuesday night, water workers explained how the fire is threatening the city’s water supply.

The problems began during last month’s Hewlett Gulch fire. Because of the runoff from last Thursday’s storms, Greeley couldn’t get its water from its usual filter plant, so they began using water from the Horsetooth Reservoir.

Now, soot from the High Park fire could make its way into Horsetooth. To Greeley residents, at least, that could mean a strange odor to their water; at worst, it would mean the city would have to dump its allotted, and historic, Poudre River flows until the silt washed away. In the absolute worst-case scenario, all of northern Colorado, including the city of Fort Collins, could face a shortage, given that the main draws for water in the area, the Poudre River and Horsetooth Reservoir, could both get contaminated because of runoff.

The city of Greeley’s water and sewer board and city council on Tuesday discussed different scenarios involving Greeley’s water system in the wake of the High Park fire.
The session will be re-broadcast starting at 1 p.m. today, then daily at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. on GTV8. It also will be available for viewing online for on-demand viewing.
For rebroadcasts, go to www. greeleygov.com.

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