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St. Mary’s Glacier: 3 Weeks And Counting Without Drinking Water

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ST. MARY’S GLACIER, Colo. (CBS4)- The mountain community of St. Mary’s Glacier hasn’t had drinking water for three weeks and it could still be days before they’re able to drink out of the tap.

The residents and water officials call what happened to the water supply an unfortunate series of events.

“There are many problems. This is an old, antiquated system in a very small community and not a lot of money or budget to help,” said one employee from Aurora Water who sent crews to the mountain town near Idaho Springs to help get their water supply running again.

Crews with Aurora Water help St. Mary's Glacier with their water issue (credit: CBS)

Crews with Aurora Water help St. Mary’s Glacier with their water issue (credit: CBS)

“We have had some help from the City of Aurora. They’ve graciously volunteered crews and teams and equipment to help us find any additional leaks,” said St. Mary’s Water District spokeswoman Kat Thompson.

Aurora water has equipment the St. Mary’s Water and Sanitation District simply doesn’t have.

The water is running from the taps now but it’s full of chlorine and not safe to drink or use for cooking.

“We are asking them not to drink or bathe in it,” said Thompson. “A lot of people get it, I mean there was no water.”

There was a water pressure problem that surfaced in April. The low levels of water were blamed on perma frost.

Then a faulty valve on a storage tank affected the reserve supplies and when the valves finally kicked on again, the pressure caused a crack and leak in the line.

“It’s an inconvenience of course and it’s not necessarily comfortable,” said Thompson.

The lines were flushed and a number of leaks were found in the main line.

“We need to determine since the leak is down that way whether this is the line for sure,” said one Aurora Water crew member. “Basically right now we’re running leak detection. We’re analyzing the main to see if it can hold pressure, how many leaks are on the system and we’ll get all those spots marked so they can facilitate repairs of it.”

The system must be flushed once again and then tested before residents can drink it. That could be a couple more days.

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