Hotchkiss #water system looking good: Restrictions remain due to drought

East Bridge Street in Hotchkiss, looking towards Mt. Lamborn. By Jeffrey Beall – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

From The Delta County Independent (Lisa Young):

While recent monsoonal moisture has been a welcome relief for drought-stricken North Fork Valley, residents in Hotchkiss need to continue to conserve water. That message came late during a special water work session held by the town council last week.

“I would think that we’re going to keep our water restrictions at this point and time”, said Mayor Larry Wilkening. “I think the rains that have been coming through are great, but until we get snow pack and rain and maybe two years worth of good water then I think we need to have them.”

The water work session was scheduled to help the town council get a better grip on how Hotchkiss water works and to sort out how they should handle ongoing out-of-town water tap requests.

Mayor-Pro tem Mary Hockenbery requested the water work session last month in the absence of the mayor saying she’d like to have some kind of guidelines for issuing out-of-town water taps…

Fagan and Public Works Director Mike Owens provided the council with a detailed overview of the town’s water system including the town’s raw water supply and demand, water transmission, treatment, storage, distribution and future water challenges.

Fagan showed a map of the water system overview beginning with the raw water supply primarily coming from the Carl Smith Reservoir north of Hotchkiss and then flowing into the Leroux Creek in the Leroux Creek Watershed.

The raw water flows in Leroux Creek to the Highline Canal where the town diverts the water through a sand trap and then to a pipe that carries water to the pre sedimentation ponds above the water treatment plant, Fagan said.

After the water settles, it flows to the water treatment plant where a microfiltration system is used year round to screen out all particles larger than one micron. According to Fagan’s slide presentation, during the warmer months the water is pre-treated with a coagulant, flocculated and settled in clarifiers before running through microfiltration modules…

Fagan said while the town treats water for Rogers Mesa it does not supply the raw water. Paul Schmucker, water commissioner, discussed the town’s water rights and how they affect future usage and storage. There was also a lengthy discussion on the town’s bulk water system usage. Fagan explained that the bulk system is a fraction of the town’s water usage.

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