Jump to navigation
Evergreen Metro District is a proud utility partner of EPA's WaterSense. Learn more about how you can save our most precious resource at https://www.epa.gov/watersense .
This Water Conservation Plan has been created for the purpose of providing a framework to deal with drought or any other phenomena that diminishes or interrupts the normal supply of water and water levels in Bear Creek and Evergreen Lake.
The Mission of this Plan is to provide guidance and operational imperatives to the Board which will facilitate a quicker and more comprehensive response to any interruption of the Evergreen Metropolitan District ("EMD") water supply.
Water Shortage from Low Bear Creek Flow and Emergency Response:
Drought responses to water shortages on Bear Creek will be categorized into three conditions. The responses will be based on two flow monitoring devices, which monitor and record the water flow in Bear Creek at two locations. One gauge is on Bear Creek prior to Evergreen Lake, and the other gauge is on Bear Creek prior to the town of Morrison. There are varying levels of drought response, with Level 1 being the least severe, and Water Rationing being the most severe. Droughts may also occur during the winter, in which case there is also a Winter Drought response level.
· A minor drought would be determined by a Bear Creek gauge reading of 12.0 cfs to 10.0 cfs at the Evergreen Lake gauge.
· A drought level will be declared only after a 7 day running average of flow at the Evergreen gauge reads between the 12.0 cfs to 10.0 cfs range.
· A minor drought may be sustained over the entire summer without getting worse.
· A minor drought response may also be employed if a water system supply problem that limits the amount of water the distribution system can provide to any or all areas of the water system.
· The first minor drought response would be to notify the District's customer base and the public in general that a drought is occurring and ask for voluntary reductions of water usage, particularly outside watering of grass and landscaping.
· Outside watering will be recommended to occur before 10:00 AM and after 6:00 PM for maximum conservation of water.
· If the flow in Bear Creek holds at the 10.0 cfs reading at the Evergreen Lake gauge, then this will be the extent of action taken; however should the 7 day running average rise above 12.0 cfs then the drought response could be lifted.
· Reminders in the local paper, that the drought is still occurring and that conservation measures are still necessary, will continue.
· The articles surrounding this issue will state that, when the drought is over, a public announcement will be made in the local paper, and a message will be posted in the news section of the District’s Web site.
· These drought conditions would be determined by a Bear Creek gauge reading of 10.0 cfs to 5.0 cfs for a 7-day running average @ the Evergreen Lake gauge.
· Public notification that the drought is becoming more severe and that additional drought response is necessary. Notices would be placed in the local paper, posted on customer bills, and on the District web site.
· A special drought notice flyer may be sent to all District residential customers stating the mandatory cutbacks in residential and commercial outside watering to no more than three days per week outside watering
· Watering zones should operate for irrigation no more than 30 minutes per zone per watering day.
· Golf courses will be required to reduce their irrigation use by 30%.
· All irrigation taps serving public parks and ball fields will be asked to go to three-day per week irrigation watering, and reduce their water usage by 30% on a metered average.
· All outside watering will be required to occur before 10:00 AM and after 6:00 PM, unless maintenance of the irrigation system is involved.
· Water rate penalties will go into effect for irrigation tap users that ignore the cutback request.
· Penalties will be waived for first time offenders; however, 2nd offenses and on will be subject to $50.00 per offense fines.
· Irrigation taps will be limited to water use of 14,000 gallons per month per equivalent tap, and all water used at and above that amount could be billed with a drought penalty rate.
· All water haulers using the pay station will be limited to hauling for indoor use only. No hauling for irrigation purposes will be allowed.
· Hauling violations will result in loss of hauling privileges.
The 7-day running average at the Evergreen gauge will be used by the Water Conservation Committee to change drought level responses at their discretion, and public announcements will be made whenever the drought response changes are made.
· This drought situation would be determined by a Bear Creek gauge reading of 5.0 cfs or less at the Evergreen Lake gauge based on a 7-day running average.
· The response to this worsening drought condition will be to declare a state of water emergency.
· Signs declaring this emergency state will be strategically placed around the District
· The District will restrict all water use to basic indoor uses and aggressively enforce an outside watering moratorium.
· This outside watering moratorium should allow for the some flow down Bear Creek until stream flows drop to 2.5 cfs or below. Then Evergreen will be relying on Evergreen Lake as an emergency supply and Bear Creek below the dam will go dry.
· Fines will be imposed on customers violating the outside irrigation ban.
· Fines will be $50.00 for 1st offense, $100.00 for 2nd offense, and all subsequent offenses.
· Hand watering of shrubs, plants, and flowers will be allowed.
· Car washing can occur with a bucket and hose with a shut off nozzle.
· All golf courses and irrigation taps will be cut off until this level of drought is lifted, except for minimal drafts on storage for Evergreen Golf Course to water tees and greens only.
· This state of emergency will be broadcast on Denver radio and television stations along with notice at all public buildings, the local newspapers, and the District’s web site.
· Water billing rates will have a penalty rate for every 1000 gallons of usage above 14,000 gallons per month.
· If the situation dictates, the Water Shortage Response Team can enact more stringent requirements including cutting off Evergreen Golf Course and water rationing if necessary.
· A public announcement will be made whenever this Severe Drought Level has ended or an increase in stream flow above 5.0 cfs for a 7 day running average has occurred that will allow the District to administer a Level 2 drought condition response.
· After Level 3 drought responses have been enacted, and the level of Evergreen Lake continues to decline to 1foot below the top of the dam, the Committee may enact a water-rationing program. Signs will be placed at strategic locations around the District declaring the emergency water rationing program.
· Initial water rationing shall require all residential and commercial customers to restrict their indoor water use to 6,000 gallons per month per equivalent tap.
· A water penalty rate will be enacted per thousand gallons for all use above 6,000 gallons per equivalent tap per month.
· If the water level in Evergreen Lake continues to decline past 2 feet down even more severe water rationing will be enacted.
· No outside use of water for irrigation of any kind will be allowed for any reason.
· No car washing or any outside household use of water will be allowed.
· Public announcements will be made in the local news and posted on the District website when a change in drought conditions occurs.
· Fines will be set at double previous rates, and will be assessed against all outside water use.
A winter drought is not foreseen due to the low water usage from customers on the water system during that season. Without irrigation, the District’s maximum base winter use for customers at full build-out of 7,500 WTEs is 200 gallons per tap per day. This usage would equate to 2.0 cfs during the winter. Only once in the last 80 years of data on Bear Creek has the flow reached a low of 4.0 cfs in the winter. Therefore a winter drought is not anticipated utilizing the maximum equivalent tap number of 7,500.