New wells, treatment improvements erase Wiggins’ water supply problems


From the Brush News Tribune (Stephanie Alderton):

After many years of struggling to provide enough clean water for the town’s growing population, Larino reported Feb. 24 that Wiggins now has more than enough for several years to come — even taking into account the two new housing developments that will begin construction this year.

Much of the water system’s success can be attributed to improved filtration methods, new wells the town has added over the last few years and some recent water deals with the Front Range. But although the water system is in better shape today than it has been in years, Larino said there’s still room for improvement.

“A lot of people don’t recognize, I think, over the last couple of years, how (the water system) has changed and diversified,” he said.

Wiggins gets most of its water from three wells that pull from the Kiowa Bijou basin, and two more recently dug wells that pull from the South Platte River.

The town also owns permits for two more Kiowa Bijou wells that have not yet been drilled. These wells are augmented by a 112-acre recharge pond facility north of town, shares in Weldon Valley ditch water and a recently approved lease agreement with the city of Castle Rock for augmentation water over the next three years.

The town also has two more recharge ponds and a few more Weldon Valley shares pending court approval.

Larino also pointed out that, thanks to an improved cleaning and filtration system, Wiggins’ water is well below the state limit for nitrates and other chemical content.

The water’s quality, particularly its nitrates level, has been a problem for the town in the past, but Larino said those days are over.

In 2015, the town pumped about 182 acre feet of water out of the 256 available acre feet. Thanks to the new water agreements, Larino said they will be able to pump up to 737 acre feet in 2016 and for the next two years.

“We have a lot of water,” he said. “Three times the town, basically.”

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