Water restrictions could begin Friday in Oak Creek


Upcoming Oak Creek events

■ Saturday: Yard Sale Day with town of Yampa

■ June 23: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. town cleanup day with barbecue following

■ June 30: Taste of South Routt

— On the same day Gov. John Hickenlooper enacted statewide fire restrictions because of dry conditions across Colorado, the Oak Creek Town Board passed a resolution empowering the mayor to enact outside watering restrictions.

With a spreadsheet in hand detailing water diverted to the town, Town Administrator Mary Alice Page-Allen on Thursday explained to the Town Board that Oak Creek on average in June is exceeding the 1/2 cubic feet per second — about 340,000 gallons per day — it can draw from the creek. On hot days, the town is far exceeding that daily figure, Page-Allen said. The daily average of raw water diverted to the town for the first 14 days of June is 367,641 gallons per day. The water used in excess of the 1/2 cfs comes from extra water flowing past irrigators and a small allocation from Trout Creek. The town has senior rights with five others that draw from the Oak Creek ditch.

As the flow down the ditch dwindles and irrigators continue to draw water for the next few weeks, the town can draw upon 720 acre-feet from Sheriff’s Reservoir, which would provide more than 600 days of water at 340,000 gallons per day, according to Page-Allen.

The resolution passed Thursday by the Town Board would allow the mayor, with the advice of the Public Works director, to enact restrictions according to a phased plan that starts with voluntary restrictions. The phased plan will be tied to the amount of water drawn from Sheriff’s Reservoir. The voluntary restrictions would go into effect when the town begins drawing from the reservoir, which interim Public Works Director Tom Holliday said could be as soon as Friday.

Voluntary restrictions would be the first phase, with Phases 2 through 4 going into effect at 50 acre-foot intervals, according to the plan.

However, Trustee Josh Voorhis, who was appointed to the Town Board along with Jenny Lewis at the May 24 meeting, objected to the mayor being able to enact the more onerous mandatory restrictions without bringing the issue back before the full Town Board.

“For a lot of landowners and property owners in town, this could be their biggest issue of the year,” Voorhis said.

The resolution was passed, 5-1, with the amendment that the issue would come back before the full board for Phase 3 mandatory restrictions. Voorhis voted “no.”

Mayor Nikki Knoebel volunteered to call all Town Board members before enacting the second phase of restrictions, which would limit lawn watering, and call a special session if there were objections.

The full text of the outside watering restrictions will be posted at various places across town and distributed when utility meters are checked.

In other action, the Town Board:

■ Approved the special-event permit for the Taste of South Routt, 6-0.

■ Tabled the public hearing on the personnel policies and procedures handbook because the advertising threshold had not been met, 6-0.

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4254 or email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com


Scott Wedel 4 years, 10 months ago

Well, how about taking action regarding water leaks?

I have been fighting for weeks for the Town to do something about the water leak above Sharp and Oak. A few weeks ago Jacob and I tested the water that every few minutes drains to the sidewalk (from a sump pump) and his water clarity tester shows 200 PPM. We then tested town tap water which also tests at 200 PPM. Jacob has tested well water around this area and it ranged from 800 to 1700 PPM. I informed the Town of these results at that time (a few weeks ago).

So within town of Oak Creek there is either a water leak or a magical spring running strong during a drought and is as clear as filtered tap water.

But all I can get from the Town is that they once tested water in that area and got inconclusive test results. They cannot tell me where they collected their sample (there is also standing water 50 feet down the street) or when it was collected.

As of Wednesday, there was no plan to collect a sample where I collected my "as clear as tap water" sample. All the Town would say is that "it is on our radar" and state that no other action is planned.


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