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Wellington Board of Trustees 1/9/24

by Nanci Wendland


For more information (including members in attendance) see the full notes document here.*

View the meeting agenda and packet.

A video recording of the meeting is available here.


From the Town of Wellington website: “The purpose of this board is to provide outstanding municipal services for the community of Wellington both today and tomorrow.” 


Key Points 

Trustees Gaitor and Tietz requested the water turbidity (cloudiness) notice sent to residents Jan. 5th be addressed at the beginning of the meeting. 


Background - IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR DRINKING WATER


On Jan.5, 2024, notices were sent with water bills to Wellington residents warning “Our water system recently violated a drinking water requirement.” The notice from the town of Wellington said water samples taken Nov. 25, Dec. 12, 28 and 29 showed elevated turbidity levels and gave a list of actions(s) residents should consider taking (shown below). 

 

From the notice sent by the Town of Wellington: 

What does this mean? What should I do?

  • You do not need to boil your water or take other actions. However, if you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor.

  • Turbidity has no health effects. However, turbidity can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth. Turbidity may indicate the presence of disease-causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites which can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches. These symptoms are not caused only by organisms in drinking water, but also by other factors. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice.

  • If you have an infant, severely compromised immune system, are pregnant, or are elderly, you may be at increased risk and should seek advice from your doctor about drinking this water. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by bacteria and other disease-causing organisms are available from EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.


The Coloradoan newspaper also reported the story saying, “The town advised pregnant people, the elderly, those with infants or a severely compromised immune system to get advice from their doctors about whether to drink the water.” (https://www.coloradoan.com/story/money/real-estate/2024/01/08/heres-what-caused-wellingtons-cloudy-water-prompted-town-notice/72148545007/).


According to some of the Wellington board trustees, they received numerous calls from Wellington residents asking for details and guidance. No one from Public Works had informed the board trustees or the mayor of the turbidity incidents. They were caught unaware and only learned of the incidents when they themselves received the same notice.   


Deputy Director of Public Works, Meagan Smith, explained in detail what happened at the water treatment plant and what it means for Wellington’s water and residents. She gave a timeline of events and took responsibility for inadequate notice and procedures for this type of incident. Wellington Public Works employees believe they found the problem: air bubbles in the pipelines. Deputy Director Smith said, ‘This was not a water quality issue.” On Jan. 4th water plant workers installed an air bubble trap and have not had any more turbidity spikes by the time of this meeting. Public Works will continue to monitor the turbidity and their procedures have been updated to promptly notify all necessary parties within 24 hours of any similar incidents. This notice is to include the town board members, Larimer County Public Health Services, and Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE).


Public Comments - 

Two residents spoke about the incident and would like a follow-up article in the Coloradoan. They seek reassurance that this was an air bubble problem, not a water quality issue. One resident said he has an immune-compromised son who uses a feeding tube and was concerned about potentially unsafe water issues. 


Ordinance No. 01-2024: Approving a final subdivision plat for Saddleback Subdivision and approving amendments to the original agreement.  

Darin Roberson, Sage Farms developer, said he decided this subdivision east of I-25 will be Wellington’s first water-wise community. The Saddleback Subdivision design has been revised several times to accommodate lack of non-potable water in Wellington. Developer Roberson revised his original plans from 153 large 1+ acre lots to 205 smaller single-family homes. The lots will be narrow with homes using more space from front to back instead of wider width across the lot. Smaller outdoor yard space will use less water and, he said, the builders will install the front and side yard landscaping using native drought resistant landscaping designs. Homeowners will be responsible for their backyard landscaping. 


A letter is to be provided to homeowners at closing explaining why the builder installed front and side yard landscaping and providing ideas to conserve water use. 


The board unanimously approved the new design and all amendments submitted to date.    


The meeting was adjourned at 8:07 p.m. 


Next Meeting: Jan. 23, 2024 @ 6:30 p.m. The Leeper Center, 3800 Wilson Avenue, Wellington, CO


Questions:

  1. Was the town fined for not properly notifying Public Health & Environmental Services?

  2. When will Sage Farm homes be on the real estate market?


*Citizen Observers further the commitment of the League of Women Voters to its principle of Citizens Right to Know, however, we are not acting as journalists. Omissions and errors are possible. It is assumed that users of this information are responsible for their own fact-checking. This could include contacting a government clerk, conversing with an elected official or staff, and/or asking us to speak to the Observer who attended.

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