Wastewater: Garney will build the new Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation District treatment plant near Brighton

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From Utility Infrastructure Management:

Garney is teamed with CH2M Hill as the design-builder for the 24 mgd Northern Treatment Plant, which will be part of the Metro District’s service to about 1.7 million people. Existing facilities are expected to soon reach capacity, according to Metro District Manager Catherine R. Gerali, but the new facility in the in the northern metropolitan Denver region will be one of the most advanced in the western United States. The plant is expected to be fully operational by December of 2015.

In Colorado Springs, Garney will construct approximately 6.4 miles of 66-inch steel pipeline, a portion of the Southern Delivery System (SDS) Raw Water Transmission Pipeline. Once completed, the SDS will bring water from the Arkansas River to Colorado Springs, Fountain, Security and Pueblo West, ensuring uninterrupted water for homes and businesses, even as other aging pipelines require repair. Water delivery from SDS is expected to begin in 2016.

More infrastructure coverage here.

Restoration: Grand Canyon controlled floods effects are short-lived, the river requires constant attention

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From the Arizona Republic via Arizona Central:

One of the lessons of the first three floods was that the effects are short-lived. The river requires constant attention, with more-frequent floods and monitoring, said Martha Hahn, chief of science and resource management at Grand Canyon National Park. “It’s not the high flows themselves; it’s what you do in between that’s important to the resources,” she said. Scientists need to watch what happens along the beaches, in the habitats and to the native species, such as the endangered humpback chub. Using an adaptive management, or “learning by doing” approach, researchers can react to the effects of each flood. Scientists have learned that the 2008 flood helped the survival of non-native rainbow trout, a predator of young humpback chub. The amount of sand brought in by tributaries is also critical, researchers found. The high flows not only leave sand along some stretches of the riverbank, they can wash it away along others. If there is too little sand and sediment to begin with, the benefits could be eroded away.

The experimental floods have caused problems for power companies that buy and distribute electricity generated by Glen Canyon Dam. A limited amount of water can be released each year from the dam, based on agreements among the seven states that rely on the Colorado River. When higher volumes are released all at once, less water is available for power production at other times of the year, resulting in lost revenue. The Western Area Power Administration, which markets and delivers electricity from Glen Canyon, estimated that changes in operations at the dam since the experiments began have cost power companies and customers about $50 million a year.

Click through for the cool photo of Grand Falls in the canyon of the Little Colorado River.

Southern Delivery System update: Colorado Springs Utilities is taking the first group of easement holdout Pueblo West property owners to court

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

“As a real estate broker, I can see they’re misleading the public on what they’re doing, and I don’t have a problem saying that,” said [Pueblo home builder and real estate broker ] Branson Haney, who owns two undeveloped lots along the SDS route. “The threat of eminent domain has always been on the table, and they have never entered negotiations.”

Colorado Springs Utilities took the first group of holdouts in Pueblo West to court last week. The easements are needed for a 10-foot deep trench through Pueblo West along the route of a 66-inch diameter pipe that will be buried and carry water from Pueblo Dam to El Paso County as part of the SDS project…

In most cases, the amount of compensation has been the issue, although a few involve sorting out liens against the properties…

After his court hearing Tuesday, Haney wrote a letter to Pueblo County commissioners saying Colorado Springs has violated a section of the 1041 agreement in the Pueblo West land negotiations. Specifically, one of the conditions states that there will be “no out-of-pocket expense” to landowners…

Haney said he supports SDS because he believes it has benefits for Pueblo West and Pueblo, but is dissatisfied with how property owners have been treated.

More Southern Delivery System coverage here and here.