CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Residents in the St. Mary’s Glacier area in Clear Creek County have been without running water for a week.

About 300 to 500 homes have been affected in the areas of Alice and Winterland.

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Giant water containers have been set up in the middle of the community where people can help themselves to some water there.

“They can come down here with buckets and containers and get whatever water they need for use in their homes and bathrooms and that sort of thing,” said Kat Thompson from St. Mary’s Glacier Water and Sanitation.

Modern conveniences like dishwaters are unavailable and water must come from the containers — courtesy of nearby Idaho Springs — to drink or flush the toilets.

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It has been a difficult winter and 10,500 feet of permafrost is keeping the water from the wells.

“The groundwater replenishes our water and it has been a very very cold winter for us this year and very little runoff. We ran them to a low level. Got dry,” said Troy Mackley from St. Mary’s Glacier Water and Sanitation.

The pumps from the wells are working, but the process of charging and cleansing the system takes time.

“I suppose if I worked down in Denver I’d get up a half hour earlier to get up and go to the rec center to get myself a shower,” said Mackley.

Experts say it will be at least Thursday can be turned back on at the earliest.

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LINK: St Mary’s Glacier Water & Sanitation District