ESTES PARK, Colo. - Roughly 1,200 homes along Fish Creek are still under a no-flush order while crews replace the main and secondary sewage lines that were wiped out in the September floods.
The Upper Thompson Sanitation District has been working on the lines along Fish Creek since the floods. The original piping was washed out in hundreds of sections along a five mile stretch. District Manager Chris Beiker said they've had to rebuild roads in areas just to inspect the piping.
"We had to examine every option available to us and that takes time," Beiker said. "We were unable to do a total assessment of the system due to the damage that was done to this corridor."
Beiker said the area of south of Scott Avenue, where crews have not yet replaced the line, is the worst because the roads are gone and there's limited space to put the temporary line. Roughly 2,000 homes were part of the original no-flush order. To date, roughly 1,200 are left. Beiker is hopeful they will restore sewage service to 75 percent of the homes in the Scott Avenue corridor during the week of November 4th.
"I think we’re right on schedule, where we thought we’d be," Beiker said. "We’ve had to do seat of the pants engineering. We didn’t have time to plan this thing out and design it , so we’ve had to engineer it and plan as we moving south down the corridor."
7NEWS talked to residents in the no-flush area. While some are getting tired of using port-o-potties, most are keeping a positive attitude. Neil Tenzer hasn't been able to use his toilet in seven weeks but he's found a way around that.
Tenzer introduced 7NEWS to his "famous loo," a port-o-potty designed for camping that he's put in two of his bathrooms. The toilet holds three gallons of water and has a compartment for waste. The best part according to Tenzer is the toilet flushes.
"It’s just so easy to use," Tenzer said. "I’m the only person in the city that I think may have this."
Homeowners can still take showers and use water for dishes and laundry. While homeowners adjust to the new normal, the sanitation department said it is working around the clock until this temporary line is done.
The department has set a tentative timeline to have everything finished by mid-December but the dates are subject to change. Once the temporary work is complete, they will start to plan the permanent fix.
Work on that project is expected to start next fall.
Progress listed on UTSD website:
-6,500 feet of pipe laid and fused
-5,000 feet of pipe completely installed and anchored
-11,000 feet of debris has been cleared and prepped along the Fish Creek corridor