Hayden There is more than one way to pump the water out of the Yampa River to serve the town of Hayden.
Since the beginning of September, a busted pipe has forced the town to use a rented pump to supplement the amount of water sucked from the river into the treatment plant.
"The issue is the intake and the status of its ability to take up as much water as it is designed for," said Hayden Town Manager Russ Martin.
The problem is not related to a July incident where water restrictions were enacted because of a malfunction at the plant. Residents are being mailed a state-mandated notice about that unrelated malfunction.
No restrictions on the use of water are anticipated with the current problem because the rented pump is providing an adequate amount of water to the plant. But the broken pipe is proving to be an expensive inconvenience.
Hayden Public Works Director Frank Fox said it is costing the town $300 each day to rent the pump, and buying one outright would cost $25,000.
The town recently hired divers to try to figure out why the normal amount of water was not making it through the 12-inch iron pipe going into the plant. The pipe leads out of a concrete box that sits at the bottom of the river where water is taken in. The water flows through the pipe under the river water, underground through the bank and then into the plant.
Fox hoped the divers would find an obstruction, but they saw bubbles coming from a section of the pipe. That indicates a leak, but the divers were not able to determine what repairs needed to be made.
"It's like a water line break, but unfortunately it's a water line break in the river," Martin said.
The town has met with the Army Corps of Engineers, who would provide necessary permits for the repairs, to determine what to do next. Repairing the pipe could mean diverting or temporarily damming the river.
"We're going to do what is most environmentally sensitive," Martin said.
He said they would like to have any repairs completed before winter.