By Jamie Leary

NEDERLAND, Colo. (CBS4) – Around 100 homes and some businesses now have water in Nederland after a water main break on knocked out service on Friday.

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Town officials updated the public at around 7:30 p.m. saying water is back on and residents should start flushing their lines with cold water.

The community has had to rely on one another in order to shower and wash their clothes.

CBS4’s Jamie Leary interviews Chelsey Havill.
(credit: CBS)

“We can’t do our laundry. We can’t do our dishes. We can’t do any of that kind of stuff,” said Nederland resident Chelsey Havill. “Depending on how long this goes I might even bring my dishes up to Stage Stop in Rollinsville. They have offered to let us use their commercial dishwasher.”

Havill, 30, owns Nederland’s Business Connection. A local one-stop print shop and office supply store. The Business Connection has water, but since Friday, Havill’s home has not.

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She says dishes and laundry are piling up, and she’s had to get creative when it comes showering.

“Using our water cooler to make warm water with the hot and the cold and like washing our hair with that,” said Havill.

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During the interview a neighboring business manager stopped in hoping to fill a bucket with water.

“It’s crazy you guys have water, and we don’t!” he shouted to Chelsey as he made his way to the back sink.

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The Nederland Fire Station was among those without water. Fortunately, there was plenty for emergencies.

One member of the Nederland Fire Protection District wrote on the Town Hall Facebook Page:

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Luckily we are a Mountain Department. We have over 5,000 gallons of water on wheels at Station 1. We can order in lots more through mutual aide. We will just handle city limits fires as if they were outside of town. Now if we could only shower…

Volunteers have been handing out gallons of water at the Nederland community center since Friday, and free showers are being offered at the town shop.

Crews with Nederland Public Works had to call in outside help before it could even locate the break, but on Tuesday, they were relieved to see the replacement parts arrived for the broken pipe.

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They’re all working very hard and overtime to get this done an I am very lucky to have them,” said Chris Pelleiter, the Public Works Manager.

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Initially the estimated time for repair was sometime on Wednesday.

Nederland’s Town Administrator, Karen Gerrity, hoped with the arrival of the new part, it could be accomplished by late Tuesday night. She issued an update for those impacted:

Nederland Public Works has exposed enough of the broken pipe to begin making repairs. Crews are gathering supplies to begin repairing the main within the hour. We expect the repairs to take a few hours.

Once repairs are made it will be necessary for Town staff to flush our water mains. This may stir up debris from the break. We advise residents in the affected area not to try running their water during this time. Running your water could draw debris into your service line and the water is not yet safe to drink. 

In order to disinfect the main, chlorine levels will be raised in the affected area. This is per CDPHE’s requirements. The chlorine level of water in the affected area will be raised to a level between 3 and 4 mg/L. This level is accepted as safe for human consumption according to the EPA’s drinking water standards. However this is approximately triple what we are used to in Town and residents may notice a chlorine smell and/or decide to continue drinking bottled water. Most of this high chlorine water will be flushed out of the system tonight.

The next step will be to flush your individual service lines with cold water. Once we have flushed our mains we will put directions for this on the Town’s website and on the recorded message at 303-258-3088. Thank you for your patience. Crews are hopeful to have your water on tonight.

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Jamie Leary joined the CBS4 team in 2015 and currently works as a reporter for CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. She couldn’t imagine a better place to live and work and will stop at nothing to find the next great story. Jamie loves learning about and hearing from her fellow community members, so connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @JamieALeary.