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Flows in the Colorado River are currently well below the 25th percentile and getting close to historic lows. These low flows and warm water temperatures are causing high amounts of algae and vegetation to travel in the streamflow. These conditions do not currently allow the City of Rifle to utilize the pond bypass pipeline because the debris plugs the basket strainers on the raw water pumps. In addition, the Grizzly Creek Fire has the potential to load the river with pH altering ash, sediment and fire retardant if and when wetting rains occur.
The City of Rifle Utility Department is currently drawing water from the intake pond and fills this pond from the river about once per week if weather conditions do not forecast wetting rains in the vicinity of the fire. These rains can occur well north of the fire perimeter and still cause issues as the water flows down the various burnt drainages. Staff is working to utilize all current resources to aid in reducing taste and odor issues associated with utilizing the raw water pond.
There are no safety or health concerns associated with these taste and odor issues.
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