The Bone Mesa Domestic Water District is a special district located in the North Fork Valley in Delta County, Colorado near the towns of Paonia and Hotchkiss. The District water supply consists of two springs fed by watersheds located on the flanks of Land’s End Peak within the Gunnison National Forest. The springs are classified as groundwater under the direct influence of surface water (GWUDI) by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).
Bone Mesa Domestic Water District serves approximately 159 households and 480 residents.
T he District has water rights for 0.75 cubic feet per second (CFS) from the Mays Spring and 10.69 gallons per minute from the Gelwick Springs (2). Both sources are shared with the Town of Paonia, which has additional rights from each. The flow from both springs varies through the water year with minimum flows occurring during the month of March. The flow from the Mays Spring is split at the collection gallery with 60% delivered to the District. This flow is piped underground to a raw water storage tank with a volume of 160,000 gallons and subsequently through a treatment plant to a treated water tank with a volume of 100,000 gallons.
O f the flow from the Gelwick Springs, 10.69 gallons per minute is delivered via underground pipe to a district treatment plant and subsequently to two treated water storage tanks with a volume of 35,000 gallons each. Treatment for the Mays and Gelwick Spring water is chlorination and filtration meeting CDPHE requirements for GWUDI. The entire system is gravity fed, which means that no pumps are used in the delivery of water. The Mays and Gelwick line tank levels and flow rates are monitored by a telemetry system.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
For your $50 per month base fee, each tap holder can use up to 10,000 gallons.
If you use between 10,000-20,000 gallons, the rate per gallon is $.0055; between 20,000-30,000 gallons, the rate is $.007 per gallon; and if you use over 30,000 gallons, the rate per gallon is $.014 per gallon.
When we read your meter each month, we know if water has run continuously over a 24 hour period, signifying a leak. We send a leak alert with your billing so you can investigate and repair any leaks.
If your usage is over 30,000 gallons and you fix the leak within the month you were notified, you may qualify for a credit under the Leak Forgiveness Policy:
Each tap is eligible for one forgiveness for usage in excess of 30,000 gallons (including their base usage) for the first major leak and one forgiveness for usage in excess of 60,000 gallons for the second major leak. After that, there will be no other leak forgiveness given.
We charge the tap holder for usage up to the first 30,000 gallons of use (including their base usage) and then forgive the excess usage—for the first offense. If it happens again, the tap holder pays for the first 60,000 gallons.
To qualify for this policy, the leak must be fixed immediately upon notification. Because we notify the tap holder after meters are read at month end, if the leak is fixed during the following month, we also forgive usage in excess of the base 10,000 gallons for the following month.
Yes, as long as there are no water restrictions, you can use your domestic water for livestock, lawn, garden, and tree watering. Keep in mind how much extra the cost will be if you go over 10,000 gallons.
Try to identify the source by surveying your property for leaking and dripping faucets, toilets, valves, frost frees, running hoses, float valves for stock tanks, swamps coolers, etc. You can request a system profile to help in identifying the extent of the leak. This service, provided by Bone Mesa, costs $50.
Call 855-269 9900 if you have questions.
Each water tap on any water line of the District shall serve no more than one household. A household is a dwelling having a kitchen and is connected directly or indirectly to the water system or that uses District water by way of cistern or similar structure.
For example, a primary residence, a cottage, a mobile home, and a house would be required to own a total of four (4) water taps in order for each of the above described uses to be permitted to connect to the District’s system and receive water service from it.
No, the Board of Directors has put a moratorium on new water taps. In February and March each year, the water in our springs usually drops to its lowest point. We want all tap holders to get their 10,000 gallons, and in those months it can become critical. Therefore, it’s the drop in those months that prevents us from offering more taps.
If our system gets low on water, the board has two ways of dealing with this issue. One is to ask the Town of Paonia for more water from our shared spring. We have an agreement in place for just such an emergency. The second option is to institute mandatory conservation measures, with fines for usage over 10,000 gallons per month.
The right to do this is already part of Bone Mesa’s Rules and Regulations. Tap holders will be notified by mail if this is necessary.
Money for expenses comes from the monthly user fees paid by the 167 tap holders in our system. Many small water districts depend on the sale of new taps for funding, but we do not have new taps available.
Grant money from either the state or the federal government is an option that has been used in the past, but unless we have a crisis that puts us out of compliance with state rules, it’s difficult to get funding through grants, especially for maintaining our system. Loans are available, but we have no way to pay off loans except by raising tap fees. Therefore, the district maintains an emergency and capital improvements fund.