Fort Collins along with many other cities rely on the Poudre for drinking water.
9NEWS took samples from Horsetooth reservoir and the Poudre River of unfiltered water, and there was a significant difference in the dark colored water of the Poudre.
Usually Fort Collins gets its water from the Poudre and Horsetooth, but right now the city is just taking it from Horsetooth.
Greeley is also affected. The city would normally take water from the Poudre as well, but is currently only taking water from Boyd Lake and Horsetooth.
Fort Collins and Greeley water departments provide water for about 250,000 customers.
Fort Collins residents shouldn't see a difference because the city is drawing from the bottom of Horsetooth Reservoir, which is 150 to 170 feet deep.
Greeley, on the other hand, is getting Horsetooth water from the Hanson canal, which does have some ash and soot in it; however, they are also getting clean water from Boyd Lake.
The city of Greeley is going through a lengthy filtering process before the water from Hanson canal goes to homes, but they are cautioning residents that some customers might experience a smoky smell to the water.
None of the drinking water poses a health risk and the water is constantly being tested.
The loss of the Poudre is a lost resource according to water officials.
"We have the water rights available and the quantity available at Horsetooth reservoir to continue taking that water for the rest of the year and beyond that," Lisa Voytko, Fort Collins Water Production Manager, said. "The Poudre water is a very senior water right of ours that we prefer to take as well. If we don't take that water we lose that water. We don't have any place to store that water."
So, when will cities be able to tap from the Poudre again? Not until the water loses some of the sediment, and if the monsoon rains keep pushing down that sediment from the burn areas, it could be months or longer.
Monday night, the city of Greeley announced the federal government is giving them $500,000 to use toward mitigation efforts for the Hewlett Gulch Fire to prevent further runoff and keep their water sources clean.
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