Mancos without potable water; school closes; bottled water needed

City officials talk with the delivery man from well on wheels who brought in an emergency water supply.


Mancos residents were left without water after pumps failed Saturday morning at the water treatment facility.

Residents within the town limits may be without water for the next 48 to 72 hours as crews work to restore it, said Andrea Phillips town administrator. Rural Mancos water users are unaffected. The water dock is closed until potable water service is restored.

"We really appreciate your understnding and patience as we try to figure out what's going on at the treatment plant," Phillips said at a town hall meeting Sunday.

Crews are going to work through the night for the second night in a row to restore water, said Heather Alvarez town clerk.

Crews were working to install a 2-inch pipe directly from Jackson Lake to the water storage tank Sunday so the town would have water for toilets. But the pressure was too great for the pipe, said Paul Hollar deputy emergency manager for the county The crews are going to continue working on a solution.

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If installed the pipe would deliver non-potable water and provide a temporary fix.

In order to restore water completely, a new pump will have to brought up from New Mexico, possibly Albuquerque, said Robin Schmittel public works operator. The town did have a backup pump, but the motor failed.

"That just happens sometimes," he said. He added that the backup system is tested yearly.

Residents can pick up bottled water and fill up containers with drinking and cooking water at the tanker in front of Town Hall. The town is limiting the supply to 5 gallons per person per day and three bottles per person per day. Residents can pick up water until 10 p.m. Sunday, and the tanker will be available again Monday from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. Residents can flush toilets using non-potable water.

There were no estimates available on how much the water tanker and other emergency efforts might cost the town.

The water outage has significantly disrupted the town.

School will be closed Monday. The Mancos clinic will be closed Monday and Tuesday. Other major water users, like restaurants, were notified of the outage, and most of them throughout town are closed. The P&D Grocery Store is the exception. The store has a water source that is not dependant on the town and will be open for business. Water is being delivered to the Valley Inn Nursing home.

Portable bathrooms are available at Boyle park. There will be 30 porta potties set up during the day on Monday and a map will be available at mancoscolorado.com as soon as possible.

Residents are encouraged to check on friends and neighbors that might not have access to information via the internet or who may not be able to leave their homes to get water, Hollar said.

It is also important to turn off ice machines so the water does not get contaminated by nonpotable water, said Karen Dickson, a public health official.

Residents can call town hall for updates on the situation over the next few days. Residents who may have trouble leaving their home are also encouraged to call town hall at 533-7725 for assistance. Public officials also encourage everyone in the county to sign up for emergency updates at nixle.com. All contact information provided is kept strictly confidential.

Town Hall is in also need of volunteers, and town officials are accepting donated bottled water.