Feds sue water company for rupture damaging Rocky Mountain National Park — again | SkyHiNews.com

Feds sue water company for rupture damaging Rocky Mountain National Park — again

A ruptured culvert caused water, sediment and debris to damage a widespread area in the national park, the lawsuit claims

Conrad Swanson
The Denver Post
The Grand River Ditch breach in Rocky Mountain National Park.
The Denver Post/Courtesy photo

Federal officials sued a Fort Collins water company Monday claiming that a ruptured culvert in 2017 damaged a wide swathe of Rocky Mountain National Park when it sent water and sediment rushing downstream.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in the District of Colorado, marks at least the second time the Water Supply and Storage Company’s infrastructure failed, wiping out trees and plant life in Rocky Mountain National Park. Neither representatives for the company or the U.S. Department of the Interior, the agency behind the lawsuit, could immediately be reached for comment.

The Water Supply and Storage Company built the Grand River Ditch system in the late 1890s and it captures rain and snowmelt on the east slopes of the Never Summer Mountains in what is now Rocky Mountain National Park, the lawsuit’s complaint says. That water is diverted east over the Continental Divide and used in communities along the Front Range and the Eastern Plains.

In June of 2017 a culvert holding back water in the Grand River Ditch system, ruptured and sent massive amounts of water flowing into the Lady Creek flood plain, which ultimately drains into the Colorado River, the complaint says.

“The incident caused extensive erosion and deposition of rocks and sediment,” the complaint says.

This story is from DenverPost.com.

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