Steamboat briefs: City department offers cold weather water advice |

Steamboat briefs: City department offers cold weather water advice

— Winter weather can cause pipes to burst, and the city of Steamboat Springs’ Utilities Division is offering the following tips for avoiding costly damage.

■ Know the location of your water shut-off and test it regularly. If a pipe breaks, you won’t want to have to find it then, or worse, wait for someone to arrive at your place to find it for you. In most single-family homes, the shut-off valve is in the basement or the crawlspace where your water pipe enters the house.

■ Winterize unheated or vacant buildings. Significant property damage and water loss can occur before burst pipes are discovered in vacant buildings. If your vacant building has a fire protection system, make sure there is no danger that the water servicing this system might freeze.

■ Insulate water pipes that may be vulnerable to the cold or have caused problems before. Pipes close to exterior walls or in unheated basements can be wrapped with pieces of insulation. Don’t overlook pipes near windows, which can quickly freeze.

During a deep freeze, at -5 degrees and below, follow the following tips.

■ Keep open cabinet doors leading to exposed pipes so that household air can warm them.

■ If you have an attached garage, keep its doors shut.

■ Keep your thermostat set higher than 65 degrees when leaving your house or business for several days.

■ If you think a pipe has already frozen, don’t wait for nature to take its course. Thaw the pipe as soon as possible or call a plumber for help.

If you do it yourself, shut off the water or test the shut-off valve. You don’t want water suddenly gushing from the pipe when it thaws.

When thawing pipes, slower is better. A hair dryer trained at the frozen area of the pipe is appropriate. A blowtorch is not. Pipes warmed too fast may break or rupture.

■ Water meters also need protection from cold temperatures.

City water customers are responsible for maintaining their water meters and keeping them in working order. Residents of trailer homes, especially, need to protect their meters this winter.

Stagecoach State Park to host fishing tourney

Stagecoach State Park will host the fifth annual Steamboat Great Outdoors Ice Fishing Tournament from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 3.

The event is limited to 200 adult and 50 youth entries. Adults can register the morning of the event for $30, cash only. Youths younger than 16 can register free of charge and are only eligible to receive non-cash prizes.

The tournament is limited to trout species only; however, a Northern Pike-only category is offered for the first time this year.

First through fifth place will receive cash-only prizes, based on the total length of two trout. The contest will offer a 75-percent payout, with 25 percent of the proceeds benefitting the Steamboat Springs Wrestling Club.

Anglers are reminded that all current fishing regulations for 2015-16 will apply and will be enforced. A current fishing brochure is available at or at the park’s Visitor Center or at any CPW office or CPW license vendor.

A valid state parks pass is required to enter the park. Carpooling is highly recommended due to limited parking space.

Snowmobiles and OHVs are permitted on the reservoir below the high-water mark only for the purpose of commuting to ice-fishing destinations.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife cautions that early season ice conditions will exist. Anglers are reminded to use caution and seek ice-fishing safety information at

Contact Kent Baucke at or 970-819-4525 for tournament rules and registration forms.

VNA offers tips to avoid foodborne illnesses

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association is advising precautions to avoid foodborne illness.

Each year, one in six Americans are sickened from consuming foods or beverages contaminated with disease-causing microbes or pathogens. The VNA recommends the following precautions to reduce the risk of contracting foodborne illness.

■ Always wash your hands with soap and water before preparing food.

■ Cook meat, poultry and eggs thoroughly. Use a food thermometer to measure internal temperature of meat.  

■ Wash hands, utensils and cutting boards after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry and before they touch other foods.

■ Refrigerate leftovers that won’t be eaten within four hours. Bacteria can grow quickly at room temperature.

■ Wash produce in running tap water. Remove outermost leaves of a lettuce or cabbage. Bacteria can grow well on the cut surface of a fruit or vegetable. Take care not to contaminate produce while slicing on a cutting board, and don’t leave cut produce out for many hours.

■ Keep food away from flies and insects.

Common symptoms of foodborne illness include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and chills. Avoid preparing food for others if you have these symptoms. Pregnant women, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe infections and should not to consume undercooked animal products. Contact your healthcare provider if you think you have a foodborne illness. For more information, visit

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