Mark Pifher is leaving Aurora Water to work on Colorado Springs Utilities’ Southern Delivery System

Southern Delivery System map via Colorado Springs Utilities

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Pifher was at the helm when Aurora built Prairie Waters, a $650 million project that recycles sewer return flows from the South Platte River near Brighton to Aurora Reservoir. The project includes a well filtration field, underground pipeline and treatment plant and will be used by other Denver-area water suppliers through the WISE partnership, which includes Denver and 14 smaller water districts. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work on another large project,” Pifher said. “Both projects maximize the utilization of existing supplies through the reuse of water, and therefore minimize the need to go out and dry up even more farmland or move more water through transmountain diversions.”

Initially, Pifher will work on [the Southern Delivery System] and other projects as assigned, said Gary Bostrom, chief of water services for Colorado Springs Utilities. “Given his background, we’re pleased to have Mark back with us,” Bostrom said, noting that Pifher worked on water rights issues as an attorney for Colorado Springs earlier in his career…

Pifher, who lives in Colorado Springs, joined Aurora in 2005 as deputy director, after serving as director of the Colorado Water Quality Control Division. He was promoted to replace Peter Binney in 2008. Binney now works as a water consultant. Dan Mikesell will act as interim director of Aurora Water until a replacement is named.

More coverage from Pam Zubeck writing for the Colorado Springs Independent. From the article:

[ed. From the CSU release: “Mark Pifher has been hired for a new position as the SDS Permitting and Compliance Manager. With construction activities well under way in El Paso and Pueblo counties, there are an increasing number of construction-specific permits we must acquire, in addition to the extensive environmental monitoring and mitigation plans and projects required for compliance with the federal, state and local permits we’ve secured”[…]

Southern Delivery got under construction last year but got a sucker punch when most of the Banning Lewis Ranch, a residential and commercial development originally said to be a big reason for the pipeline, was sold to an oil drilling company from Texas, Ultra Resources. Utilities folks insist that even without Banning Lewis, the pipeline is needed for “redundancy,” a pitch that materialized as the project evolved but development of Banning Lewis didn’t.

More coverage from the Aurora Sentinel. From the article:

Dan Mikesell, deputy director for Aurora Water Operations, has been named interim director for Aurora Water effective Jan. 6.

More Aurora coverage here.

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