A water main broke Tuesday morning in front of a house at 40620 Anchor Way in Steamboat II.

Photo by Matt Stensland

A water main broke Tuesday morning in front of a house at 40620 Anchor Way in Steamboat II.

Steamboat II water main break has minor impacts

About 20 homes lost water service for a few hours Tuesday

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— A broken water main in the Steamboat II subdivision left about 20 homes without water Tuesday morning but caused no reports of property damage or water contamination.

Doug Baker, manager of the Steamboat II Metropolitan District west of Steamboat Springs, said he got a call at about 2 a.m. Tuesday from Routt County Communications, which a Steamboat II resident called after noticing the break.

The break occurred in front of a house at 40620 Anchor Way. Yampa Valley Medical Center employee Del Boyer lives in the house and said he learned of the break after waking at about 6:45 a.m. Tuesday. He said there was no apparent damage to the house.

Baker said Tuesday that revegetation along the street was the only needed repair he was aware of after the pipe break.

“It’s just old infrastructure. We found a hole in the bottom of a pipe, we put a repair clamp on it and got it up and running,” Baker said. “We had about 20 houses down from two o’clock in the morning until about noon.”

Those houses were about between 40550 and 40635 Anchor Way, the subdivision’s westernmost street.

Baker said after learning of the break, he put a voice message on the district’s office line, at 970-879-7671. He said that method appeared to be an effective way to inform residents.

“We didn’t get a lot of calls, and I didn’t get a lot of pages,” Baker said. “I think people are pretty easy to get along with if you just tell them what’s happening.”

The subdivision’s last water pipe break was in February 2010, when holes in a 16-foot section of pipe sent water gushing into at least five homes in the subdivision.

“We’ve got infrastructure that’s over 40 years old, so we’re kind of fighting aging infrastructure like a lot of communities are,” Baker said Tuesday.

He said he plans to present the problems to the subdivision’s board of directors, which could work toward a long-term plan for water system upgrades.

Baker said such a plan would have “as low an impact as we can” for residents.

The Steamboat II Metropolitan District also includes the Heritage Park and Silver Spur subdivisions. The district uses the city’s wastewater treatment plant and buys some water from the city of Steamboat Springs. Baker said the district also uses water from a well field behind Christian Heritage School, in Heritage Park.

Baker said the district has nearly 400 homes and about 1,200 residents.

A little ways east on U.S. Highway 40, city residents already are feeling the pinch of increased water and sewer bills to pay for repairs of aging infrastructure.

The Steamboat Springs City Council approved water and sewer rate increases for city customers in September. Along with increased tap fees for new construction, the fee increases extend through 2013 and will help fund as much as $70 million of water and wastewater improvement projects by the city.

Work could start this spring on a sewer main replacement in the alley between Oak Street and Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat.

— To reach Mike Lawrence, call 970-871-4233 or email mlawrence@SteamboatToday.com

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