Hot Sulphur Springs water remains unsafe to drink |

Hot Sulphur Springs water remains unsafe to drink

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News

From mid-day to Wednesday evening, Hot Sulphur Springs town officials passed out about 700 gallons of bottled water to town residents due to a town water-main break that has not yet been fully rectified.

A break in an auxiliary water main near the town water tank caused a massive loss of water early Tuesday, forcing workers to shut off water service to all residents and businesses.

This morning, the break was isolated to about 180 feet of pipe that services three households. Flow was shut off to that section, allowing the town to restore water distribution to roughly 626 other taps.

Yet those three households remain without water, and due to the loss of pressure in the town’s water system while it was shut down, backflow resulted in all household drinking water becoming susceptible to bacteria, viruses and parasites, according to the Colorado Department of Health and Environment.

The town is currently flushing the system, but officials advise all residents to refrain from drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth and preparing food with town water until further notice.

Hot Sulphur Springs predicts the warning will last from 24 to 72 hours, depending on water test results.

Disease-causing organisms can produce symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea and associated headaches. Elderly individuals, infants and people with compromised immune symptoms have an increased risk.

At an emergency management meeting in Town Hall last night, officials discussed with county emergency personnel and Grand County Public Health how to get the information out to as many residents as possible.

Officials urge town residents to get the message out to people with cell phones who may have not gotten the Reverse 911 messages and to home-bound citizens.

It also was decided another Reverse 911 call would be issued to landline phones in both English and Spanish.

Press releases had gone out to news outlets, information had been posted on the county’s emergency Web site and, armed with information, trustees and the mayor picked quadrants of town Wednesday night to go door-to-door with the drinking-water warning.

All day Wednesday, citizens pitched in to help where possible.

Mountain Parks Electric employees helped to deliver bottled water to Town Hall, and when it arrived, a chain of townspeople lined up to bring it from trucks to storage.

Trustees Maura Ransom and Kathy Knight, who themselves had been retrieving and delivering water, writing press releases, and answering phone calls all day, thanked Grand Lake and Granby residents Albert Losasso and Wayne and Megan Matlock for helping town staff with water delivery.

“It just shows you how cool a small town is,” Ransom said.

Sonny Pacheco of Sani King donated portable toilets around town for residents to use.

And Mayor Hershal Deputy thanked Granby’s water department and the Three Lakes Water and Sanitation District for their help, and Harms and Sons Excavating and Grand County, which “stepped up and offered any and all assistance.”

But most of all, the mayor recognized the residents, such as the three households still without water, saying they “are the most understanding group of people I’ve ever had the occasion to meet.”

Deputy thanked the residents of Hot Sulphur Springs “for putting up with the inconvenience and being so patient in coming in to get water. They especially need to be commended because they’ve suffered the most.”

” To reach Tonya Bina, e-mail or call 970-887-3334.

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