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Flowing Through the Natural Way

January 19, 2024

Throughout the years, the geothermal wells pumping heated water have bubbled up in the Animas Valley before cycling back down to the underground aquifer. Durango Hot Springs, purchased in 2019 and renamed from Trimble Hot Springs, has incorporated the natural flow cycle into the management of its soaking pools, all the while practicing a sustainable method of water treatment, creating a better soaking experience and giving back to the Animas Valley. By Hannah Robertson. This story is sponsored by Sky Ute Casino and Kroegers Ace Hardware.

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Driving north through Animus Valley on a cool morning, you'll likely see steam rising from the hot springs by Trimble Crossing. First commercialized in 1882 by Frank Trimble with the construction of Trimble Hotel, the property evolved many times through the years, but the promise of the multiple health benefits of soaking in natural hot springs hasn't. The latest evolution to Durango Hot Springs balances the new and old with a special focus on the natural cycle of water. You're watching the local news network brought to you by Sky Ute Casino, and Kroegers Ace Hardware. I'm Connor Shreve.

Essentially, the geothermal water here has been recycled naturally for thousands of years. Obviously, before Trimble Hot Springs was a, Trimble or Durango Hot Springs was a commercial hot spring, it actually was just a natural geothermal hot spring that was used by the native people for thousands of years. It bubbled basically directly out of the ground right behind us here on this natural fault line, and it discharged back into the earth on its own. So it's always been a natural filter system.

Durango Hot Springs is a flow through facility echoing the flow of water from the underground aquifers feeding the geothermal wells the water comes from. According to a study conducted in the 1980s, the cycle from surface to aquifer takes about 10,000 years. So the water you're enjoying today was underground when the glaciers were sculpting today's Animus Valley.

Flow through water system means that all the water here that comes directly out of the ground then goes to our pump house, comes out through the tub, and every tub has a two and a half hour changeover, meaning that every little bit of water, every gallon of water there is changed every two and a half hours. After it's gone through the tub, each one of our tubs goes through our discharge system. The discharge system is essentially the creek that runs through the facility that then discharges into the aquifer that's across the street. The aquifer is the, sits over the same fault line that we actually pump our water up from.

What sets Durango Hot Springs apart from other hot springs that utilize a flow through system is the way the water is treated before it's pumped into the pools. Instead of treating with chlorine and bromide, which would require an extra step before the water is discharged back into the ground, Durango Hot Springs oxygenizes its water using natural ozone to clean the water.

What the ozone does is it actually breaks down all bacteria, viruses at a, it's a one part per million micron. So essentially most bacterias are about four parts per million. Only ozone breaks it down in one part per million. Meaning that you're actually getting a higher level sanitation sitting in ozonated water than you would be in chlorinated or brominated water. So not only are you sitting in cleaner water, but you're also not having that really harsh feeling on the skin, hair.

So when you're sitting in one of the tubs and see little air bubbles on your skin, that's the oxygen at work. There is some evidence to suggest that the oxygenation system also helps the naturally occurring minerals to bind to water molecules better, aiding in the body's absorption of the minerals, one of the many benefits of geothermal hot springs. With the oxygenation process fewer chemicals are being pumped out into the ground, and that's not the only way Durango Hot Springs gives back to the surrounding environment.

We've been building our gardens and part of the landscape architecture. Essentially what we've done is we've gotten this accredited and natural wildlife habitat. What that means is we do have some plant species here that will actually bring in migratory birds such as Western tanagers, certain types of hummingbird and other birds of prey that are in the area. We actually have a very healthy redtail hawk and golden eagles, golden eagles nests right up here on our Ponderosa pines.

For hundreds of years, the naturally occurring hot springs in Animus Valley have brought rest, relaxation, and healing to its community. With the evolution of Durango Hot Springs and a renewed focus on sustainable uses of the water and area, the local geothermal springs will continue to provide these services. A flow through system that also heats the pathways as the hot water passes through pipes to pools, chemical-free water treatments, and the use of natural plants in landscaping, Durango Hot Springs shows its commitment to the area. Find more information about this and other stories at DurangoLocal.News. Thanks for watching this edition of the local news network. I'm Connor Shreve.


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