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Outages, Disruptions, Pressure Variations, and Particulates

During the past few years, the distribution system has required more unplanned and planned repairs and upgrades than in recent years. There have been main repairs as well as several private lateral pipeline breaks requiring repairs.

Most repairs, whether on the main or on a private lateral, result in low pressure or water outages. This is due to construction activities including excavation, repair or replacement of lines, and the restriction or prevention of water flow to parts of the District during these activities.

Staff attempts to minimize outages and discoloration. Staff also attempts to estimate the length of time each outage may start and end. Obviously, this is difficult to do with precision for any specific service location, due to many factors and circumstances.

During or after a repair, some locations may experience cloudiness, discoloration, or pressure variations, due to air being introduced into the lines and sediment disturbances. Under normal circumstances following a repair, the water is clean and safe.

The introduction of air into the lines and the many pressure variations stirs up particulate inside the pipes and creates air bubbles, and this discoloration or cloudiness will be especially noticeable in locations with "dead ends" and may persist for several weeks.

If you experience this discoloration, consider doing some watering, washing, or cleaning – or run your hose, which will help flush your service line.  Running the bathtub faucet until the water runs clear is also helpful.

Consumers will be notified, according to notification protocol mandated by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) depending on the precise health risk, if the water becomes unsafe or unfit for consumption. During 2021, as in prior years, health and water safety procedures were followed during every repair. Compliance testing is required by the CDPHE Water Quality Control Division, and test results with explanations are provided in the Annual Drinking Water Quality Reports (known as Consumer Confidence Reports).

The Board of Directors has reviewed recent requests for billing credits to consumers for needing to flush or for service disruptions. The Board confirmed that credits will not be granted, which allows LMWD to be consistent with precedent, and policies, as noted below.

Policies, Rules and Regulations (Excerpts)

3.1 Water Supply.

      3.1.1 General.

The District will operate, maintain, and improve components of the public water system which the District owns and will oversee operation of other components of the public water system which the District does not own, with the objective of providing a reliably safe, continuous, and ample supply of water to its customers.

      Interruption for Repairs or Improvements.

Whenever necessary, the District may temporarily suspend delivery of water to one or more customers for the purpose of making repairs or improvements to the system. Every effort shall be made in the case of non-emergency repairs to notify affected customers well in advance of any planned interruption. Interruptions of service shall not relieve customers from charges for service supplied, including any minimum charge which may apply.

      Drought, Fire or Other Emergency.

In case of drought, fire or other emergency, the Board, at its discretion, may impose such temporary or seasonal water use restrictions as it deems necessary and prudent in the circumstances, and in so doing may grant preference to those classes of service which it deems most essential to the public welfare. Said restrictions may include regulation of the hours and time for irrigation or other nonessential water use.

      District Not Liable for Shortages, Interruptions or Surges.

The District shall exercise reasonable diligence and care in regulating delivery of a safe, continuous, and ample supply of water to customers, and further, to avoid shortages, interruptions, wide fluctuations in pressure and to minimize the presence of suspended particulate matter in the water. However, the District shall not be liable for said shortages, interruptions, pressure variations, or particulates, or for any injury, loss, or damage occasioned thereby, if same is due to causes or contingencies beyond the control of the District, including accidents, equipment failures, or acts of God. Tap owners and customers shall hold the District harmless and indemnify the District against all claims and liability for injury to persons or damage to property when such damage or injury results from or is occasioned by the tap's service connection, unless said damage or injury is caused by the negligence or wrongful acts of a District agent or employee.