Boulder County approves and sets conditions for the 1041 permit for Northern Water’s Southern Water Supply Pipeline Project II


From the Boulder Daily Camera (John Fryar):

Boulder County commissioners on Thursday approved a proposed pipeline that will deliver water from Carter Lake in Larimer County to the city of Boulder, the Left Hand Water District, the Longs Peak Water District and the Town of Frederick.

But the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, which is heading up what’s called the Southern Water Supply Pipeline Project II on behalf of the entities that will be getting the water, will have to comply with nearly three dozen conditions that Boulder County is attaching to its approval. The project’s representatives expressed particular concerns about two of those conditions.

One, as recommended by Boulder County Land Use staff, will require the applicants to pay for a county-retained “project overseer” who’d monitor and inspect the work while it’s under way and would have the authority “to alter, direct and/or stop any activity that will result in adverse environmental or safety conditions” or violations of various county permits or “accepted construction standards.” Project proponents indicated discomfort over giving someone the ability to stop all work over issues they said could be resolved without bringing everything to a halt. County commissioners agreed to add language that the overseer couldn’t act arbitrarily. But they said some situations might require emergency work stoppages, rather than awaiting dispute resolution.

Pipeline project applicants also objected to a condition that they pay for the county Parks and Open Space Department to hire someone representing the county, as a landowner, during the project’s construction and reclamation work on county open space lands…

Northern Water’s Carl Brouwer, the project manager, said participants will now meet to work out a timetable for the phased construction of the pipeline, whose advocates have said is needed to improve the quality of the water being delivered, provide a year-round water supply and meet projected increases in demand. Brouwer said it’s been estimated that the work will about $35 million or more once it’s completed. At least some of the new underground pipeline will replace Northern Water’s and water recipients’ reliance of the portion of the current delivery system that channels water through exposed open-air canals that are closed in the winter and that can be polluted by storm runoffs and other surface sources. The new pipeline would run roughly in parallel to the old canal system between Carter Lake and a point near Longmont’s Vance Brand Municipal Airport. From there, it would run southwest to Boulder Reservoir. An eastern spur from the main pipeline would run from a point north of Longmont and go east to Frederick.

More infrastructure coverage here.

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.

Broomfield Reservoir update

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Broomfield is finally doing something with all the water they bought last century. They’re moving ahead with construction of Broomfield Reservoir, according to a report from Michael Davidson writing for the Boulder Daily Camera. From the article:

The reservoir will have a surface area of 100 acres and be about 75-feet deep when filled. It will be bordered by Northwest Parkway and Sheridan parkways, and the Wildgrass neighborhood will be on its south shore. It will be an enormous effort. The city estimates 4 million cubic yards of dirt will be moved across Sheridan Parkway through specially built underpasses. It will take 200,000 “scraper trips” to move the dirt. Construction could last about two years, Arthur said.

The city intended to start work on the reservoir in September, but work was delayed after the initial cost estimate hit $93.5 million. The plans were turned over to independent engineers to try to find places where money could be saved, Assistant City and County Manager Kevin Standbridge said.

The changes they made and a sharp drop in the cost of construction materials has brought the projected cost down to about $75 million, Standbridge said. But it might be less than that. Three construction companies made bids for the contract, City and County Manager George Di Ciero told City Council on Tuesday. A winner hasn’t been picked, but Di Ciero said all of the contractors were willing to work for much less than the city expected.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.