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Clean Water Issues Force Rapidly-Growing Town Of Severance To Stop Issuing Building Permits

SEVERANCE, Colo. (CBS4) – One of the fastest growing communities in northern Colorado is bringing building permits to a screeching halt following disputes over access to clean water. The Town of Severance has stopped accepting residential building permits after realizing its water provider cannot meet the demand for clean water.

(credit: CBS)

Nicholas Wharton, Town Administrator for Severance, said all pending and new applications for residential permits will be denied until May 31, or until the town's water provider addresses major concerns.

Wharton told CBS4's Dillon Thomas that the North Weld County Water District, the town's sole water provider, doesn't have the infrastructure to meet the demand of the booming region. The water district, which also serves towns like Eaton, Nunn, Ault, Pierce, Timnath and Windsor, has had difficulties expanding its facilities due to complications in the City of Fort Collins and Larimer County.

The water district needs to build a pipeline through Fort Collins and Larimer County in order to clean the water that the towns own. Because of the delays in Larimer County, the provider hasn't been able to keep up with the demand of the growing region.

The moratorium in Severance does not impact previously approved building permits, nor does it impact commercial building permits as of now. However, Wharton said the commercial permits typically only come as housing increases, and the current moratorium is preventing further growth.

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(Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

Currently, 37 active applications for building permits are held up with the moratorium. However, as builders sell more plots the number will likely grow.

Wharton said the Town of Severance does have plenty of access to water itself. However, the snag comes with assuring it is up to standards with its purity.

According to the Town of Severance the water district is hoping to revisit the issue in February. Until then, Severance is working to partner with other water districts to meet the town's needs. The issue has been a topic of concern for Severance since October 2021.

CBS4 reached out to NWCWD seeking comment on the moratoriums and community concerns and is awaiting a response as of the publication of this article.

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