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July 12, 2012
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Rough times for south county

Topaz Ranch Estates residents have had a rough couple of months this year.

In May a controlled burn reignited and set the community on fire taking two homes, a dozen other structures and scores of vehicles with it.

On Sunday a roughly 50-year-old section of 8-inch water main gave out, which prompted a cascade of issues leading to the state warning residents not to drink their water for two days.

Unfortunately that warning was late in coming, since about half the residents didn't get the message for several hours thanks to a glitch in the Reverse 911 system that listed their addresses as somewhere other than TRE.

The state lifted all orders for the community on Wednesday, but the repercussions will be felt for months.

Of Douglas County's more remote communities, Topaz Ranch Estates is the largest.

Back in 1971, Douglas County formed the general improvement district as a means to allow residents some measure of self-government. At the time, they received their water from a private company about which residents complained regularly.

In 1997, the district took over operation of the water company and has been running it for the past 15 years.

The good news, and there is a little here, is that the water in the system was never actually contaminated. Both bacteriological tests came back negative. The well that wasn't certified to operate yet, will be in a few weeks. The line is fixed.

Sometimes you have to put a boat in the water to find out if there are any leaks. There were quite a few in the boat that was the Topaz Ranch Estates water emergency, but they're being plugged.

And that means if there's a next time, all this won't have been for nothing.

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The Record Courier Updated Jul 12, 2012 05:49PM Published Jul 12, 2012 05:48PM Copyright 2012 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.