September 28, 2016--Water diversion on Animas River begins Monday(Durango Herald)

Work to divert the Animas River into the city of Durango’s water intake upstream of the Whitewater Park began Monday. In a news release, the city of Durango said crews are preparing to divert the river channel over newly constructed features. River users may experience up to one-hour delays as a result of the work. Users may also notice sediment in the water, which is expected to remain for about a day after the diversion is fully implemented, the release said. Rafters, boaters and other recreational users are encouraged to scout the river for new obstacles and to proceed cautiously. Work began in August to bring the Animas River “back to a natural condition where the primary flow is located on … river left to supply reliable water to the city’s water intake,” according to the city’s website. Utilities Director Steve Salka was not available Monday for comment. However, Salka told The Durango Herald in August that the river was shifting away from the city’s water intake, a problem accelerated after the Whitewater Park was constructed in 2014. According to the city’s construction timeline, the Santa Rita in-stream structure on river right should begin Oct. 17 and take about three weeks to complete. The $1 million project split between the Utilities and the Parks and Recreation departments is slated to be complete by Nov. 15, though the release acknowledged the likelihood of delays. The Animas River Trail is closed near the site, with traffic directed around the wastewater-treatment plant. To view the full article visit the Durango Herald.