Update on Northern Water Delivery System
We have shared with you the steps we have taken – and continue to take – to ensure that the residents and businesses in the Triview Metro District have access to the water you need. These steps mean that we are less dependent on the Denver Basin Aquifers and are meeting the needs of our customers as the district continues to add homes and business within our service area. As changes to our climate occurs, it is imperative that we construct a robust water system that includes surface water rights, reservoir storage, and the use of our nine existing Denver Basin wells.
It is not enough to own water rights – we also must have a delivery system to ensure the water can get to the homes and businesses where it is needed. That is why we wanted to provide an update on one of our projects that does just that – the Northern Delivery System.
The Northern Delivery System is a $21.7 million regional water project for northern El Paso County. Our partners currently include the Town of Monument, the Woodmoor Water & Sanitation District, the Donala Water & Sanitation District, Forest Lakes Metro District and the Town of Palmer Lake. Together, we are creating a highly efficient water delivery system that can provide up to 7,000 gallons of water per minute in a cost-effective manner. The water will be delivered from Colorado Springs Utilities Highway 83 Tank to the Triview service area where it will then serve our project partners.
As you can imagine, engineering and getting regulatory approvals for a complex water pipeline that runs for miles through varying county roads, municipal roadways, parks and open space parcels can be challenging. We are actively examining options to incorporate some of our existing infrastructure to help reduce the overall cost. We are in the process of securing necessary easements in our area to accommodate the water pipeline, including in the areas of Sanctuary Filing No. 8 and Fox Run Park.
Our engineering contractors, including JDS Hydro, are using modeling software to finalize exactly what size pipes are needed and what path should be taken. Soil samples along the proposed route are being taken to ensure that the pipeline can be adequately designed, and soil conditions accounted for to minimize any surprises during construction. We expect the final design for the project will be completed by late summer. While we are completing the design of the pipeline, we will obtain the needed right of way and necessary permits from El Paso County. We will also be working with Colorado Springs Utilities to negotiate the needed contractual arrangements with Colorado Springs to convey, treat and deliver our water rights to the Triview Metro District and our partners in Northern El Paso County. We hope to have the pipeline under construction in the fourth quarter of 2022, with completion expected in 2024.
Sprucing up the District for Summer
Despite all the cool, wet weather, the district staff has been working hard to make sure our parks and open spaces are looking their best. From fertilizing grasses to weed control in the flower beds to pruning shrubs and trees, there’s a lot happening. Mowing started earlier this month, and before that, the turf was aerated and seeded. The team has also done grooming and other maintenance for the district’s trails.
At the northwest corner of Leather Chaps and Baptist Road, we are planning to install flowering trees in the median, build a retaining wall to terrace the slope, and add shrubs, boulders and rock. You may have noticed the reconstruction of a detention pond in the same area. The district’s ponds collect stormwater runoff so that it can be captured and returned to the stream. This practice helps reduce erosion and damage to waterways such as Monument Creek and Fountain Creek, which are downstream of the district’s stormwater facilities.
The team has also been busy repairing the usual spring issues with the irrigation system, including broken sprinkler heads. If you ever see a broken sprinkler head or water spraying into areas other than the grass, please call us to let us know right away, 719-488-6868.
South Reservoir Nears Completion
As we’ve previously shared, securing reliable water sources for the district is a top priority as we transition from non-renewable Denver Basin groundwater to renewable surface water. Last year, the district acquired 568-acre feet of water rights. And last month, the district purchased another 1,000-acre feet of water storage, meaning that the district now controls 1,850-acre feet of storage out of a total of 2,050 acres. The South Reservoir at Stonewall Springs is nearing completion with the construction of a spillway and a low-flow pipeline from the Excelsior Ditch to the Reservoir. The last piece of the puzzle is an outlet pump, which will be completed by the end of the year. The water to fill the South Reservoir comes from the Arkansas River, just east of Pueblo, Fountain Creek, Denver Basin return flows, and the district’s Upper Arkansas Basin water assets.
In addition to the existing reservoir and water rights, Triview also acquired nearly 850 acres of land that will be used for the development of two large reservoirs.