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Latest News – August 14

The Latest BUZZ Down at The Everson Ranch

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Beehive at the Ranch. Photo: Cherrye Williams

Here’s the latest news from the historic Everson Ranch, owned by the Orient Land Trust. The ranch sits at the base of the beautiful Sangre de Cristos Mounatins at the north end of the San Luis Valley. If you are interested in receiving their newsletter: CLICK HERE.

Some of the most exciting new additions at Everson Ranch this summer are the new honey bee hives. We have two hives with the Italian Strain and one hive of the Carniolan Strain. During the 1st year the colonies will build up their troops along with enough honey to get them through the winter, Next year we should be collecting honey and other products that the hives produce (including beeswax, propolis, pollen and royal jelly). In addition to our new hives we also have at least six natural hives on the land.

Honeybees live in colonies with one queen running the whole hive. Worker honeybees are all females and are the only bees most people ever see flying around outside of the hive. They forage for food, build the honeycombs, and protect the hive. Many species still occur in the wild, but honeybees are disappearing from hives due to colony collapse disorder. Scientists are not sure what is causing this collapse.

Honeybees are important pollinators for flowers, fruits, and vegetables. They live on stored honey and pollen all winter and cluster into a ball to conserve warmth. All honeybees are social and cooperative insects. Members of the hive are divided into three types. Workers forage for food (pollen and nectar from flowers), build and protect the hive, clean, and circulate air by beating their wings. The queen’s job is simple—she lays the eggs that will spawn the hive’s next generation of bees. There is usually only a single queen in a hive. If the queen dies, workers will create a new queen by feeding one of the worker females a special food called “royal jelly.” This elixir enables the worker to develop into a fertile queen.

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The historic Everson Ranch sits at the base of the beautiful Sangre de Cristos Mountains in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell.

Queens regulate the hive’s activities by producing chemicals that guide the behavior of the other bees. Male bees are called drones—the third class of honeybee. Several hundred drones live in each hive during the spring and summer, but they are expelled for the winter months when the hive goes into a lean survival mode.

With even just one hive you can help grow local gardens, fruit orchards, vegetable plantations, etc. The survival of plants depends on pollination, and the honey bee accounts for 80 percent of all pollination done by insects. Without the honey bee’s services, more than a third of the fruits and vegetables that humans consume would be lost.

Bee sure to stop by the ranch and learn what’s all of the buzz with beekeeping!

Latest News – August 11

Orient Land Trust Issued Water Boil Order

Two weeks ago on July 27, the Orient Land Trust (OLT) received notification that their monthly drinking water test had come back positive for E.Coli and Total Coliform Bacteria. OLT owns and operates the Valley View Hot Springs as well as the historic Everson Ranch at the foot of the Sangre de Cristos mountains on the north end of the San Luis Valley.

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The Orient Land Trust’s historic Everson Ranch sits at the base of the Sangre de Cristos Mountains in the San Luis Valley. The Valley View Hot Sp[rings sits above the ranch inthe mountains and was issued a water-boil order on July 27, 2017. Photo: Saguache Today.

This order affects their drinking water spring only, and not the pools or ponds at Valley View Hot Springs. They are providing commercial water to fill water bottles and encourage everyone to bring water with them when visiting.

It’s not uncommon for bacterial contamination to occur when increased run-off enters the drinking water source. It’s been an historically wet summer in the valley. After their findings, the state of Colorado ordered a boil order.

If you have questions or concerns please give OLT a call at 719-256-4315.

Below is a copy of the boil order:

DRINKING WATER WARNING
Valley View Hot Springs (PWSID CO0255850)

BOIL YOUR WATER BEFORE USING
Hiervan el Agua Antes de Usarla

  1. coli and total coliform bacteria with no chlorine residual were found in the water supply between 07/24/2017 and 07/29/2017. These bacteria can make you sick, and are a particular concern for people with weakened immune systems.

Bacterial contamination can occur when increased run-off enters the drinking water source (for example, following heavy rains). It can also happen due to a break in the distribution system (pipes) or a failure in the water treatment process.water boil

What does this mean if I live in this area? What should I do?

DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one (1) minutes, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.

  1. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause short-term effects, such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some of the elderly and people with severely compromised immune systems. The symptoms above are not caused only by organisms in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice.

If you have an infant, severely compromised immune system, are pregnant, or are elderly, you may be at increased risk and should seek advice from your doctor about drinking this water. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by bacteria and other disease-causing organisms are available from EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

What is being done?

They will inform you when tests show no bacteria and you no longer need to boil your water. 
They are providing commercial safe drinking water and following all recommendations and state mandates.

They anticipate resolving the problem by as soon as possible. For more information, please contact OLT’s Facility Manager Mark Jacobi at  or 719-298-0660.

*Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.*

Este informe contiene información muy importante sobre su agua potable. Tradúzcalo o hable con alguien que lo entienda bien.
This notice is being sent to you by the Valley View Hot Springs
Colorado Public Water System ID#: CO0255850
Date distributed: 7/27/2017
Generic Flushing and Sanitization Procedure for the Distribution System
The flushing and sanitizing of a drinking water system begins at the treatment plant and proceeds systematically outward to all ends of the distribution system. Proper flushing, sanitation, and bacteriological testing are required prior to lifting a boil-water advisory.

  1. The first step is to increase the disinfectant (chlorine) level leaving the properly operating treatment plant, and entering the distribution system, to between 3 and 4 mg/l (free chlorine).
  2. The next step is to systematically begin flushing from the entry point of the distribution system outwards to all ends of the distribution system. Adequate flushing can be easily verified by measuring for the increased disinfectant residual at each flushing point.
  3. After flushing, the disinfectant (chlorine) residual level is returned to the normal operating range and the system is once again flushed until the disinfectant (chlorine) level at the system’s furthest tap is within the normal operating range, generally greater than 0.2 mg/l but less than 2.0 mg/l free chlorine.
  4. Once the quality of finished water has stabilized throughout the distribution system, microbiological samples (Standard Coliform Test) must be collected at representative locations, (minimum of 3 to 10 sample points), in the distribution system, including all ends of the system. Disinfectant (chlorine) levels in the sampled water must also be measured at the same time the microbiological samples are collected.
  5. If the above microbiological monitoring results indicate unsafe conditions (total coliform – positive, on any single sample) the above procedure must be re-implemented until the microbiological monitoring results indicate safe conditions, (total coliform – negative, on all sample locations).
  6. Submit results in a written document summarizing all activities undertaken to fix the treatment problem, flush and sanitize the distribution system, and results of all laboratory and field-testing.

 

Latest News – August 2

Saguache Among Public Health Grantees

Last month, The Center for Sharing Public Health Services (the Center) announced it has selected eleven public health teams to participate in a new funding initiative focused on cross-jurisdictional sharing (CJS) in public health. CJS occurs when jurisdictions, such as counties or cities, collaborate to deliver public health services across boundaries. By working together, public health agencies can build economies of scale that improve effectiveness and efficiency.

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Members of the San Luis Valley team, from left to right: Kathleen Matthews, Kimberly Bryant and Della Vieira.

As part of the program, the eleven teams will receive grant funding and one-on-one technical assistance from the Center. The Center will get the opportunity to observe progress and to capture learning that it will use to develop and disseminate new tools and resources and to provide technical assistance to other jurisdictions that are considering or adopting CJS approaches.

“The teams were selected because their work focuses on areas the Center has prioritized for further study,” explained Gianfranco Pezzino, co-director of the Center. “For example, several of the teams are composed of smaller jurisdictions interested in using CJS strategies to provide a broader range of public health services.”

“In another example, some of the teams are working toward system-wide public health improvement at the state level, using a CJS approach,” added Patrick Libbey, who is also a co-director of the Center.

The following public health team, which includes Saguache County, is one of the eleven that have been selected to participate in the new program. To read the full report, readers can visit the Public Health Sharing website.  

Colorado: San Luis Valley Public Health Partnership – This partnership, which comprises three frontier and three rural counties, will develop and implement a cross-jurisdictional data collection and management system. The following counties participate in the partnership: Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Saguache and Rio Grande.