Yampa water system running smoothly

No problems reported after repair of Monday night pipe break

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With questions about Yampa's drinking water, call Yampa Town Hall at 638-4511. For elementary school updates, call the South Routt School District at 736-2313. Call the Environmental Protection Agency's safe drinking water hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

— Yampa's water system is running smoothly after health officials lifted a drinking water advisory Thursday night.

Officials are encouraging town residents to flush all water lines by running hot water and cold water through every fixture for 10 minutes, to remove any residual contaminants such as chlorine that could remain after the town's system was disinfected following a break in Yampa's main water line Monday night.

School is back in session at South Routt Elementary School, where Principal Michael Young said he has had no reports of water problems or issues.

"We're back in business," he said Friday morning. "The health department cleared the town's water last night, and we're back to school as usual."

Town clerk Janet Ray also said things are running smoothly and she has not had "any notification of anything different this morning."

Routt County Environmental Health Director Mike Zopf said the five water samples submitted Wednesday night all passed bacteria tests, a process that takes 24 hours. Zopf said he issued the all-clear for Yampa water use at about 8 p.m. Thursday.

"It was a good outcome," Zopf said of the tests and reaction to the pipe break. "I think the town did a really good job they were on top of it right away."

Eric Berry, Yampa's public works superintendent, said a crack in the seam of the cast-iron pipe caused the leak, which he found just south of Yampa after a report of low water pressure Monday night. Town residents were advised to use bottled water for most purposes Tuesday through Thursday while the break was repaired, the system disinfected and the water tested.

Town officials provided bottled water at Yampa Town Hall. South Routt Elementary School closed for two days.

Zopf said Wednesday that he received one report of a man who showered in town water and said high chlorine levels irritated his skin. That was the only health issue reported.

Berry said Wednesday that cast-iron pipes such as the town's main water line have a history of breaking, and he's seen similar problems before.

"This isn't the first time it's happened to the town of Yampa and it won't be the last, probably," Berry said.

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