Farmington closes intake pumps to lake

The Daily Times staff
Lifeguard supervisor Lauri Roberts-Nutt keeps an eye on swimmers on May 27 during the opening day for the designated swimming area at Farmington Lake.

FARMINGTON — The city of Farmington's Public Works Department has closed the intake pumps at Farmington Lake because of high turbidity in the Animas River.

Recent warm weather has caused runoff from melting snow in the mountains, leading to increased turbidity in local rivers, according to a press release from the city.

The city's tests on the water have shown a correlation between high turbidity and increased levels of heavy metals in the river. Farmington began testing the water after the Gold King Mine spill in August.

While closing the intake pumps will not impact the quality of drinking water, it will result in lower water levels in the lake, according to the press release. That will affect the new beach and swimming area at the lake.

The lake's water level is currently about 1.5 feet below capacity. Each day that the pumps are closed, the lake is expected to drop another 0.25 feet, according to the press release.

Because of that, portions of the swimming area have been closed, including the floating obstacle course, climbing wall and trampoline.