Littleton bans recreation on South Platte River this weekend due to anemic water flow

Don’t venture on to the South Platte River in Littleton this weekend — or risk getting a citation if you do.

With a drought-stricken flow approximately 20 times weaker than normal, the river is in no condition to be an aquatic playground. Littleton, fearing damage to the Platte’s river bottom from hundreds of people trudging through an anemic flow, is banning all activity in its stretch of the waterway — from C-470 to East Belleview Avenue.

The ban starts at midnight Saturday and lasts through 6 a.m. Sunday.

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City spokeswoman Kelli Narde said the Platte is running at 20 cubic feet per second when its normal flow at this time of year is 100 to 500 cubic feet per second.

She said the immediate prompt for this weekend’s all-out ban was to stop a large-scale recreation event involving thousands of tubers that had been planned by a local fitness club. Event organizers didn’t have a permit and likely wouldn’t have gotten one due to the river’s depleted state, she said.

Narde said the city will reevaluate the Platte’s health after this weekend to see if a new ban needs to be issued for upcoming weekends.

Colorado is in the grips of a severe drought that has plunged 60 percent of the state into severe to exceptional drought, an increase of 8 percent since last week.

Source:: The Denver Post – Lifestyle


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