Aurora: Prairie Waters Project update

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From The Denver Post (Carlos Illescas):

Prairie Waters, the city’s new $659 million water-purification and -recycling system, will be completed ahead of schedule and almost $100 million under budget. Project managers attribute the savings to good planning and trimming nonessential features from the plant. They also say the bad economy helped ratchet costs down. Contractors desperate for work submitted low bids for many of the jobs in the construction of the system, Aurora Water spokesman Greg Baker said. “We took advantage of a strong bidding environment,” he said…

The city has raised residential water prices, nearly quadrupled tap fees and issued $450 million in bonds to pay for the project…

In good-water years, Aurora could lease water to communities such as Douglas County that are searching for new water sources. “Aurora Water has found something that of course will answer their concerns but also something to help the metropolitan area,” said Rocky Wiley, a former water-management planner for Denver Water who now works for a consulting firm. “It’s a viable answer, and it’s wet water,” Wiley said…

Up to 50 million gallons of water a day will be treated at the purification facility. During peak-demand periods, water treated at the facility will be mixed with mountain water and piped to homes.
“You’re always planning for the hottest day in July, when people are watering their lawns, taking showers, washing their cars, when every spigot is open,” Baker said. “We had to make sure our water supply would meet that demand.”

Aurora Water officials expect to dedicate the facility in September and will begin testing the system by December. It is scheduled to be running in full by the late spring or early summer of next year.

More Prairie Waters coverage here and here.

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