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Where does our water come from?

The potable water comes from a large aquifer system from which our wells draw water to the treatment and distribution facilities.  Mother Nature does the initial purification through the natural filtering and adsorption processes that occur as the water percolates down the land strata.  WATCO finishes the treatment job, per state regulations, before it is distributed to the community.


Why isn't water from Spence Reservoir used in the ALR water system? 

Ground Water (wells) undergoes the above natural purification process as it perks through the earth.  Much of the water’s objectionable qualities (color, taste, order, pathogens) are removed by mother nature.  The quality of the raw water is usually very consistent.  Surface Water (lakes & streams) does not undergo this natural process.  The quality of the raw water can be quite variable. The state mandated requirements for processing, disinfection, and process monitoring become quite stringent, detailed, and very expensive.  A simple mechanical failure could cause dangerous pathogens to be introduced into the drinking supply.


How are the wells permitted? 

Our wells are permitted by the Colorado Division of Water Resources under specific Conditions of Approval.  All of the wells are limited to supplying the Alpine Lakes Ranch Central Water System for residential use, livestock watering, irrigation of not more than 3000 square feet per lot of lawns, gardens, shrubs, and trees, and fire protection.  The total volume of water produced is limited by the permits.


Who owns the ALR water system?

The Alpine Lakes Ranch POA owns the infrastructure of the water system. 


What is WATCO's role with the water system?

WATCO is responsible for operations, maintenance, and repair of existing Infrastructure.


How do I know ALR water is safe to drink?

All water entering the distribution system has undergone a disinfection process mandated by the state.  Residual chlorine levels are checked on a frequent basis and logged.  All other state mandated water quality testing is performed and reported per state law.


What is a Consumer Confidence Report?

The report is a document that details all water quality tests performed in a given year, the results of the tests, and an explanation of the purpose of the testing.


Why do I receive a CCR each year?

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment mandates this level of reporting for all public water systems.


What water treatment is currently being done? 

We use a dilute hypochlorite solution for disinfection.  About 2 parts per million is added which leaves a residual level of about 1 part per million average.  Also, the state has mandated we add a small amount (1 to 2 parts per million) of a phosphate solution to reduce a very minor lead and copper issue seen in some homes.  All testing for possible contaminants has put us within state standards.


What things can each homeowner do to conserve water?

Water conservation is a personal choice that we should all make.  Plant only foliage that is appropriate for the area and requires minimal additional watering.  Don’t let your taps just run while doing dishes or brushing teeth.  Showers take a lot less water than baths.  Periodically check your water meter to see if your system has a leak.  Simply be aware of the water you are using.


Why should I worry about conserving water? 

Water is a finite resource.  It’s supply is not infinite.  Southern Archuleta County is located in basically a “high desert” area.  If the available water in the aquifer is ever depleted, the only way to live here will be to haul water in by truck.  This would be extremely expensive.  Currently, we are in much better “water shape” than many other ranches in the area.


Do I need a cistern?  

Cisterns are not required.  While WATCO does its best to keep the system up and running, there can be short periods of time when water service is not available.  A cistern will allow water to the household and provide on property storage.


How can I check if my house has a water leak?

Make sure all water taps, etc. are turned off.  Make sure any water softener or reverse osmosis equipment is not running.  Make sure the cistern is not filling.  Go out to you meter pit, remove the lid, and look at the water meter.  The flow indicator needle (or triangle) should not be moving at all.


Who should I call if I think there is a water leak in the ALR water system?

Call any WATCO BOD member or any WATCO operator immediately!!  See the CONTACTS page of the web site for all phone numbers.


Who are the water operators and what do they do?

The water operators are contractors hired by the WATCO. They have state issued licenses for the operations of “Public Water Systems”.  They carry liability insurance for such work.  They do either the hands on work or project management work for all aspects of the operations and maintenance of the system subject to the directions of the WATCO Board of Directors.

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