Donala merges wastewater operations with Academy — Tri-Lakes Tribune

Wastewater Treatment Process
Wastewater Treatment Process

From the Tri-Lakes Tribune (Danny Summers):

It may not by the biggest wastewater merger in Colorado history, but Donala Water and Sanitation grew by more than 10 percent when the Academy Water and Sanitation District Board approved a resolution to connect its wastewater operations with Donala.

“Academy made the decision between Colorado Springs Utilities and us,” said Donala general manager Kip Peterson. “It makes sense for both Academy and us from a cost perspective.”

Academy, which has about 300 customers, managed its own wastewater treatment for nearly five decades. Donala has about 2,800 customers and has shown steady growth through difficult economic times in recent years.

“We’ve been talking with Academy about this merger for the last decade,” Peterson said. “We had a wastewater treatment plant already designed with that thought in mind.”

Peterson said that pipes will be laid from Academy’s lagoon on Spring Valley Drive to Donala’s collection pipes. From there, a lift station will pump Academy’s wastewater to the Donala pipes for treatment by the Upper Monument Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Peterson said the process will take some time and probably will not begin take place until the fall 2018, as required by Academy’s wastewater permit.

Academy’s Board was forced to make a change months ago because of new state regulations that could not be met by the district’s current lagoon treatment system. It looked at building a new plant at its current location, but the Board found that option to be much too costly.

Meanwhile, Donala’s General Manager explains why rate continue to increase in this report from Danny Summers writing for the Tri-Lakes Tribune. Here’s an excerpt:

One of Kip Peterson’s main goals as general manager of Donala Water and Sanitation is to keep an open-door policy to the folks in his District.

One of the main questions most residents want to know is why do their water rates continue to go up and why are they restricted on their outside watering?

“That is a big concern for a lot of people,” Peterson said. “And I completely understand why.”

Earlier this month, Peterson and his staff included in its newsletter to its customers a rare comparison with some local water companies. The list included Donala, Woodmoor, Woodmen Hills, Colorado Springs, Monument and Triview.

“I put it out there so folks can see for themselves, Peterson said. “I have a very strong belief that we have to remain transparent.”

Donala customers have been on water restrictions for eight years. Colorado Springs Utilities customers were on water restrictions in 2013, but that was lifted this year.

“I think that was a mistake,” Petersons said. “I think that sends a bad message to the community. Do you really want to conserve water or do you want to make money?

“(Donala’s) rate structure is intentionally designed for conservation.”

More wastewater coverage here.

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