Fri September 20, 2013
Colorado Flood

Evans' Pipe Plan Could Help Lift 'No Flush'

The City of Evans is still trying to get one of its waste water treatment plants back online after floodwaters shut it down.

More than half of the residents in the City of Evans have been unable to shower, flush toilets or anything else that puts water down the drain since Sept. 13.

Mayor Lyle Achziger says they hope to get things flowing again by connecting one of their wastewater lines to the neighboring city of Greeley. “We are currently having pipe laid from just west of the plant from our system pumping it up across ground and putting it into another manhole that’s connected to the Greely wastewater treatment plant,” said Achziger.

With the temporary pipe connected and tested, Achziger says they can begin to clean out the city’s sewer lines that have been clogged with raw sewage and mud from Colorado's flooding. It won’t be the magic solution that completely repairs the system.

First, they have to get the crippled water treatment plant up and running.

“The additional work going on down there is we’re building a gravel road along the south side of that to head off the water that’s still running along side of it,” said Achziger. “And that’s so we can get contractors in there to start replaying the electrical motors and the pumps and replacing the electrical panel and all the other equipment that was destroyed due to the water.”

The City of Evans has setup many portable toilets to cope with the "no flush" order.
Credit Nathan Heffel / KUNC

In the mean time, the mayor and other impacted residents will still have to use the green porta potties have been set up in neighborhoods throughout Evans.

“I am camping in my backyard because I can’t use my facilities,” said Achziger. “I took a porta potty out of my boat and put it on my patio and that’s what we’re using.”

With his home a half mile from the river evacuee George Keever never thought he’d one day see his home filled with water. Right now, the no-flush rule isn’t even on his mind.

“All’s I want to do is get my valuables outta the house,” said Keever. “The house is destroyed, it was under 9 feet of water, and then my next step is wondering where the hell I’m gonna go live.”

The rule does remain an issue for Evans resident Vicky Stromberger. Even though the portable toilets are close to her home it has not made her life any easier.

“At the end of our block, they’ve just kind of strategically placed them around the city. But with children that’s hard when its two in the morning, but everyone is doing the best that they can,” said Stromberger.

Public works officials have said the ‘no-flush’ rule in Evans could be in effect for 10 days or more, but Mayor Achziger says he’s optimistic that by Monday there’s a good chance the rule might be lifted.

“That’s what we’re shootin’ for, that’s what we’re planning on and I’m confident we’re gonna make it…” said Achziger matter-of-factly, “and if we don’t, we don’t, but we’re working around the clock to make it happen.”