30,000-gallon water tank to help with fire suppression efforts in Copper Creek subdivision
With one wildfire currently raging in Grand County and another that forced home evacuations late last week, the recent decision by the Hot Sulphur Springs-Parshall Fire Protection District to have a 30,000-gallon water tank installed near the Copper Creek subdivision seems especially timely.
Last week, workers from Delong Construction, with the help of Fraser Crane, installed a new 30,000-gallon fiberglass water tank on Grand County Road 373 southwest of Williams Fork Reservoir. The tank was installed at the behest of the Hot Sulphur Springs-Parshall Fire Protection District to serve as a water source for future firefighting efforts in the area.
“There is definitely a need for it,” said Tom Baumgarten, the district’s fire chief. “We have had several fires in the past couple of years up there.”
Baumgarten said the area has always been problematic in terms of having ready access to water for fire suppression efforts. Previously the fire district has been required to haul water to the area when fires occur.
The installation of the new water tank is not the first such project undertaken in Grand County.
Tim Delong of Delong Construction said his firm has completed multiple similar projects in Grand County over the past several years including the creation of a 120,000-gallon pond, as opposed to a buried water tank, in the Homestead Hills subdivision south of Granby.
Baumgarten acknowledged the unique nature of a fire district, rather than an HOA or a specific subdivision, installing a large water tank but put it in context of the need that existed and past promises made by fire district officials to bring a secure source of water to the vicinity.
“We had a property owner that was gracious enough to grant us an easement and let us put it in,” Baumgarten said. “We desperately need that water back there for when there is another fire. We are always trying to plan for the future.”
According to Baumgarten, the price tag for the project came in at around $140,000. The water for the 30,000-gallon tank is being supplied through existing water rights through a cooperative effort between the fire district and the Grand County government. The tank in the Copper Creek subdivision is the only water storage location available to the district outside of the town of Hot Sulphur Springs, Baumgarten said.
Work on the project kicked off a little less than four weeks ago and officials from Delong Construction said they expect to complete the project next week. To conduct the work, workers from Delong first excavated the area. The area under and around the tanks was filled with specially sized pea gravel to reduce long-term impacts to the tank from the expansion or contraction of the surrounding soil. Finally, the tank was topped with three feet of dirt to insulate it from freezing winter temperatures.
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Rep. Dylan Roberts, the Democrat representing Routt and Eagle counties in the Colorado House of Representatives, announced Wednesday he will run for the District 8 state senate seat in the 2022 election.