Broomfield: City and County manager pulls raw water pipeline from council consideration

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From the Broomfield Enterprise (Joe Rubino):

The project, presented to council Tuesday, would have created a roughly half-mile pipeline along the western bank of Glasser Reservoir that could divert water coming into the reservoir directly to Broomfield’s water treatment plant. The project was designed to address concerns about the taste of drinking water from Glasser, and as a incremental step in the construction of the proposed Broomfield Reservoir project. City and County Manager George Di Ciero removed the project from council consideration Tuesday without it being put to the vote, stating city staff would reexamine the project.

Council raised concerns that the project was not designed in the most cost-effective manner, that it addressed only minor issues of water taste, and it was part of a Broomfield Reservoir project, which has an uncertain future. “I understand that if we are going to do a Broomfield Reservoir project, this is part of that project” Mayor Pro Tem Walt Spader said. “(But) until that gets resolved, I’m not that gung-ho on spending a million dollars on a pipeline for a reservoir we may never build.”[…]

A pipeline was necessary to allow a portion of the city’s drinking water, being pumped from Carter Lake outside of Loveland, to skip a stay in Glasser Reservoir if needed, according to a staff memo. Carter Lake, whose water is pumped to Broomfield via a pipeline owned by various entities, including Broomfield, provides Broomfield with 58 percent of its raw water. The remaining 42 percent is provided by Denver Water, according to Broomfield Director of Public Works Alan King. In recent summers, most notably 2010, Glasser was home to large blooms of blue green algae, King said. When the blooms died off, they created the chemical byproduct Geosmin. While nontoxic and safe for human consumption, Geosmin can be detected in drinking water in even small concentrations, leading to a “earthy” or “musty” taste and aroma, according to city staff…

Cost estimates for Broomfield Reservoir, designed to help the city meet its projected future water needs, are between $63 million and $100 million, and it would be the largest public works project ever undertaken in Broomfield. Construction was supposed to begin in 2009, but bonds for the project were not issued that year or last, because of a moratorium on capital improvement projects.

More South Platte River basin coverage here.

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