COLORADO CITY — Some residents in Colorado City are without water for the third consecutive day after a utility line was cut, causing their water plant to stop operating.
"We have had a trickle for the last couple of days. We had slight pressure last night then by 10 p.m. we were out," said Vance Hulven, Colorado City resident.
Before his water stopped, Hulven was able to deliver jugs of water to the elderly.
"We started hauling water, the little we had, which is of course orange so people could flush their toilets," said Hulven. "People like my dad just had a stroke, the neighbors down the street are eighty years old. He's had a blood cot in his leg."
"My toilet won't flush, and I have a daughter that says mommy I can't hold it anymore. Just go baby I'll flush it when I get water. I'll get water out of the lake to put water in my toilet. I don't know what else to do," said Nicole Vandermark.
She's been driving to Pueblo with five-eight-gallon jugs so her family can have water, but they empty quickly.
"From water for cooking, water for animals, dogs, chickens, water for our five kids. Washing hands, and flushing the toilet. To get it to flush you have to use at least half of the five-gallon jugs so I had eight to start with and now I have none. Can't flush our toilet, can't run our AC unit because we have a swamp cooler, " said Vandermark.
She says it's not a new issue for Colorado City, but it's creating much division in the community.
"The town is divided right now. You go on the community page and you can see people like me who are like where's my water, I want my water., and what are we going to do about it. Then there are other people saying stop complaining, this is a small town and this is what you get. I had a guy tell me yesterday to go bath my kids in the creek, I had a lady tell me I shouldn't have had five kids, and it's not the Metro's fault I have five kids to give water to," said Vandermark.
"People are upset, they deal with this every time. It needs to be fixed, we need to have board members who actually care," said Carolyn Crothers, Colorado City resident.
Crothers says she has lived in Colorado City for twenty-one years but has never drunk the water.
"They say it's safe, they say they've done testing, but I've never drunk the water and I don't think it's safe to drink," said Crothers.
Residents say the Metropolitan District hasn't provided them with any updates on the situation.
"Yesterday in my house it was 92 degrees, and they say it would be fixed at 9 p.m. yesterday but it wasn't. They don't give us pre-warning, they don't give us updates," said Crothers.
News Five contacted the Metropolitan District for an update on the water plant situation. We were told the town manager is out of town, and crews were busy working on the water plant issues.
"I was told the water line went down due to somebody hitting an RTC trunk-line that took out the internet which controls the sensors, and pressure gauges that are off-site off of the plant. When those sensors are down then the software at the plant determines there is an issue and shuts it down," said Robert Cook, Colorado City Metropolitan District Board Member.
While the issue was reportedly "fixed" Wednesday night, some residents are still without water.
"Everything was online, everything was looking good, water was coming back to different areas and then all of sudden it went down again. From my questioning, it appeared that in one of the main water tanks, the sensor was showing that the tank was full yet it was empty. When the tank hits empty, and that sensor didn't read it, the sensor read the tank was full and shut it down," said Cook.
He says the plant is online, but the system is struggling to make water.
"The issue is that so much water is being drawn out that the plant is struggling to make enough water to not only feed the town, work out the airlocks, but it can't make enough gains to fill the tank," said Cook.
A special meeting was held Thursday night to determine whether the town should move to water restrictions. The Metropolitan District Board Member voted unanimously against it, and to instead encourage residents to conserve water as much as they can.
"When we put water restrictions on, people have the tendency to use more. Just like the toilet thing when we had COVID-19 starting, people ran and stored all of the toilet paper. It's the same thing with water," said Harry Hochstelter, Metropolitan District Board Member. "Just conserve it, and act like there is a drought right now because we have to get out tanks up. Everything is built on pressure."
Hochstelter says water should be back on Thursday night, but the community is still encouraged to conserve water for the next few days.
In the meantime, the Pueblo Cooperative Care Center will have its mobile shower available for residents Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.