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Mandatory Water Restrictions End Nov. 10

Posted on: Nov-09-2020

Fort Collins City Manager Darin Atteberry signed a declaration and order to end mandatory action level IV water restrictions Nov. 10, pursuant to Fort Collins City Code Section 26-167(a) and the Water Shortage Action Plan (WSAP). For more information on the WSAP, visit

Increased water demands due to dry conditions and potential for the Cameron Peak Fire to impact water quality and delivery on the Poudre River heightened the risk of a water shortage during the Horsetooth Outlet Project (HOP).

If emergency backup pumps were needed, it was imperative that Fort Collins Utilities’ water demand be below 15 million gallons a day throughout the project. This goal was based on pump capacity and typical winter water use levels.

Fort Collins Utilities’ customers rose to the challenge and decreased water use 35% within the first 24 hours of restrictions and stayed below the 15 million gallon demand since Oct 14, saving more than 100 million gallons of water when compared to historical averages.

HOP began in October and finished ahead of schedule. Even with the added risk of drought and water quality and delivery from the fire, it was best to complete the outlet maintenance this year. Lasting impacts from the fire could be present for many runoff seasons to come, causing us to rely more heavily on our Colorado-Big Thompson (CB-T) shares in Horsetooth and the infrastructure that delivers water from Horsetooth.

The outlet provides water to the Fort Collins Utilities and Soldier Canyon water treatment facilities. Together, the facilities serve more than 220,000 residents and businesses in Fort Collins and the surrounding area.

Repairs included removing rust, recoating valves and replacing rubber seals. Dive teams also installed new stainless-steel trash racks to more efficiently prevent water-borne debris from passing through the outlet structure to the water treatment plants.

As a result of the wildfires, the Poudre River and Big Thompson watersheds have been partially burned and could experience water quality and delivery challenges due to ash and debris. Impacts could occur for several runoff seasons to come, with a higher risk in the spring. Fort Collins Utilities will continue to monitor for water quality and quantity.

For the details on HOP and potential future water restrictions, visit or, email, call 970-416-8040 or V/TDD 711.



  • Mariel Miller, Water Conservation Specialist
  • 970-221-6719

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