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Bayfield puts water limits back on table table

By Jim Haug Herald staff writer

Watering the lawn in Bayfield would be restricted to alternate days and to the hours between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. under a proposal to be considered by the town’s Board of Trustees during its April 16 meeting.

Bayfield has had temporary water restrictions before, but the Town Board is considering making a permanent set of restrictions for the high-demand watering season between May 15 and Sept. 15 for conservation and to reduce demand on utilities.

If the proposal is not approved, Town Manager Chris La May anticipates more temporary restrictions might be necessary again this summer based on the light snowpack, according to a news release.

Under the proposal, households with odd-numbered addresses would be allowed to water outdoors on odd-numbered days and those with even-numbered addresses would be permitted to water on even-numbered days.

Properties with a secondary water source from irrigation ditches would be exempt. Hand-watering for small plants, trees and shrubs would also be allowed.

But watering new lawns, sod or seed, would be allowed with a permit from the town.

The restrictions would be enforced with penalties of $50 for the first violation, $100 for the second violation and $500 for each additional violation.

During the high-demand irrigation season, the water-treatment plant processes up to a million gallons a day with its maximum operating capacity of 1.5 million gallons a day.

As part of an agreement with the La Plata Archuleta Water District, the district is funding a 1 million gallon-a-day expansion of Bayfield’s water-treatment facility. The expansion will provide 750,000 gallons per day to the La Plata Archuleta Water District and 250,000 additional gallons per day to Bayfield. Once the plant is expanded, Bayfield will have an available treatment capacity of 1.75 million gallons a day.

While the water-treatment facility expansion will increase Bayfield’s daily capacity, the water restrictions ensure that Bayfield will have available capacity for future growth. The water restrictions also minimize Bayfield’s need to take water from Vallecito Reservoir.

jhaug@durangoherald.com

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