Public Notice - Backflow Prevention Testing Failure

City of Ouray
Failure to Control Cross-connections within 120 days

Este informe contiene información muy importante sobre su agua potable. Tradúzcalo o hable con alguien que lo entienda bien.

Our water system recently violated a drinking water requirement. Although this situation is not an emergency, as our customers you have a right to know what happened, what you should do, and what we are doing to correct this situation.

The state drinking water program prohibits suppliers of water from permitting or installing any uncontrolled cross-connection to the distribution system or an internal building. We received a violation because our water system did not control 6 cross-connections within 120 days after identifying the cross-connections.

NOTE: This advisory is NOT related to COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that the “Virus that causes COVID-19 has not been detected in drinking water.” For additional information on COVID-19 and drinking water, you can refer to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s website:

What does this mean? What should I do?

  • You may want to use an alternative drinking water supply (e.g. bottled). If you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor.

    COVID-19 may represent an immediate health threat for high-risk people (i.e., over the age of 60 or people with chronic health conditions like heart, lung, kidney disease, or diabetes). High-risk populations should consult with their doctor about the relative risk of drinking tap water versus potential exposure to COVID-19 by purchasing bottled water. If you choose to use an alternative water source, consider purchasing bottled water from a company that delivers directly to your home or install a home treatment or point-of-use system (e.g., reverse osmosis system).

    If you must leave your home to seek an alternative water source, such as to go to the store to purchase bottled water, due to the risk of COVID-19 exposure, we recommend that you practice social distancing. This includes staying six feet away from other people, wearing a protective face covering (e.g., surgical mask, homemade mask, bandana, scarf, etc.), and considering using credit cards, debit cards, or insta-pay services instead of cash for your purchases.

    Additionally, please continue to follow good hygiene practices. For example, when you return from the store, wipe down any containers with soap and water and thoroughly wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. To minimize possible COVID-19 exposure, please try to limit the number of trips out of your home.
  • Uncontrolled cross connections can lead to a back pressure or siphonage event that may allow contaminants or disease-causing organisms to enter the drinking water, which can cause diarrhea, nausea, cramps, and associated headaches.
  • 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.

What is being done?

Identified locations will be required to install a backflow prevention device.

We anticipate resolving the problem as soon as possible. For more information, please contact Aja Tibbs at or 970-325-7087, or PO Box 468.

*Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.*

This notice is being sent to you by: City of Ouray - CO0146588
Date distributed: January 21, 2021