Jamestown has re-established running water to about 40 percent of homes in town — Boulder Daily Camera

From the Boulder Daily Camera (Alex Burness):

Jamestown has re-established running water to about 40 percent of homes in town, a major step for a community that may still be years away from restoring normalcy after September’s flood.

As of July 7, Mayor Tara Schoedinger confirmed, 48 out of the town’s 115 homes have water service, though residents are being told to boil first until quality tests confirm potability.

The foothills town of 275 suffered immeasurable losses — one resident was killed, half of all roads were either washed away or badly damaged, and the town square and fire station need to be rebuilt from scratch.

Schoedinger said fixing the water system took precedent on the flood recovery wish list.

“The water system is our first priority because that’s what’s going to bring people home,” she said. “We want people to be able to bring their families back home and get settled before school starts.”

Flooding stripped away 50 percent of the town’s water distribution system, plus the entire underground infrastructure at its water treatment plant, and those who stuck it out in Jamestown went nearly 10 months without running water.

Those who stayed relied on above-ground water filtration systems, for which about $60,000 was raised through donations from the local Rotary Club, Salvation Army and Red Cross.

While the donations covered the cost of installation — about $1,700 per system — residents have had to pay out of pocket for $150 refills.

As for drinking water, the Red Cross has sent a truckload of Eldorado Natural Spring bottles up to Jamestown once every two weeks.

Schoedinger said the entire town will likely have running water by some point next month. She hopes it’ll draw back the 50 percent of residents who still haven’t returned.

“Everybody who can come home will come home,” she said. “But people who don’t have systems or town water can’t live in their homes.”

More South Platte River Basin coverage here.

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