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Town of Empire doesn't have enough water

The town's water treatment system was not able to produce enough water to meet demands for a second day, officials said Monday.

EMPIRE, Colo. — The Town of Empire was still unable to produce enough water Monday to meet the water system's demands, the Empire Police Department (EPD) said in a news release.

Water in the town comes from the flow of Madd Creek, and right now the current water levels are too low, said Police Chief John Stein. 

“We’ve had the drought, and then we’ve had recent below zero temperatures, which then freezes a lot of the water flow further up in the creek," said Stein, who's also the town's emergency manager. "Warm temperatures recently for the last couple of days helps, but it takes awhile for that to melt and then come down through the creek to then start filling our sand filters, go through the sand filters to our UV plant – back up to our tanks, and then back down into the residences and pressuring lines. So it’s not a quick, easy fix."

EPD said businesses and about 300 residents in the area reported not having water or had low pressure Sunday morning. Police said this was temporary while additional measures were taking place, but it could last for 10 days.

Empire has dealt with low flow from the creek before. In the past, the town relied on two storage tanks. Those tanks were empty, and Stein said it was because of an unknown leak that as of Monday, the town hadn't been able to find.

“We’re asking everyone to check their pipes and check around and see what we can do to conserve and keep what we’ve got going because we still have some water flowing, just not enough," he said.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued a "boil water order."

Stein said the town was working to increase water intake at Madd Creek and supplement water into the UV Water Filtration plant. A new filtration tank was expected to be delivered Monday, but it wasn't clear when it would be activated, according to the release.

Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Management were helping residents and businesses by providing 5-gallon buckets, EPD said.

Empire has worked on improving its water sources after many problems over the past few years, the release says.

As the town works to restore full water pressure, EPD said residents can fill up a container from a water tank at Theobold Park, 52 E. Park Ave. (HWY 40). 

Bottles of drinking water were available for residents at Theobold Park and Town Hall.

RELATED: Fort Collins issues water restrictions to protect supply

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