Halligan Water Supply Project Cost Update — @FCUtilities

Halligan Reservoir

Here’s the release from Fort Collins Utilities (Eileen Dornfest):

Fort Collins Utilities has updated the cost estimate for the Halligan Water Supply Project (Halligan Project). Based on information known at this time, current estimates indicate a probable cost of $120 million. However, costs could vary between $100 million to $150 million as the project scope and schedule are more clearly defined.

The project will be paid for primarily by fees related to new development and redevelopment. The updated cost is not expected to significantly change Utilities’ water rate forecast. Future rate increases are not expected to change from the current rate adjustment strategy.

To date, $19 million have been spent, mainly on environmental studies for both the Halligan Project and several other water storage alternatives that have been considered as part of the federal permitting process and on real estate acquisition.

While the cost of water continues to rise in Northern Colorado, the Halligan Project remains the most cost-effective alternative to provide a safe and reliable water supply for Utilities’ existing and future customers. Other water supply options available to the City of Fort Collins cost seven times or more per acre-foot (approximately 326,000 gallons) of firm yield.

Without the Halligan Reservoir expansion, customers could be vulnerable to future service interruptions during prolonged drought and emergency situations.

Since entering the federal permitting process in 2006, project costs have been updated periodically. The last estimate was developed in 2017 and indicated a total cost of $75 million. Since then, Utilities has learned more about the future schedule and cost of federal, state and county permitting processes; real estate acquisition needs; evolving best practices in dam design and construction; and opportunities for environmental enhancements. Additionally, the cost increases $4 million for every year that construction is delayed due to permitting or other circumstances.

In the past, the estimate was presented as one value – a best approximation of total project costs. In the future, the cost will be presented as a range of costs to reflect the evolving nature of a project of this size and complexity.

Expected to be completed around 2026, the project will raise the height of the existing Halligan dam by 25 feet and increase the reservoir’s water storage by approximately 8,100 acre-feet. In addition to providing a safe, reliable water supply, the project will rehabilitate a 110-year-old dam that will need repairs in the future and enhance stream flows downstream of the reservoir, improving habitat and the ecosystem.

A draft Environmental Impact Statement is anticipated to be released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers later this year, followed by a public comment period.

To learn more about the Halligan Project, visit http://fcgov.com/halligan, email halligan@fcgov.com or call 970-416-4296 or V/TDD 711.

“We know population will double by 2050, and we know the rivers won’t” — Chris Matkins

Poudre River Bike Path bridge over the river at Legacy Park photo via Fort Collins Photo Works.

From The Fort Collins Coloradoan (Jacy Marmaduke):

The all-American ideal of an expansive, emerald green lawn accounts for almost two-thirds of the average Fort Collins resident’s water bill.

But the two main water providers serving Fort Collins taps — Fort Collins Utilities and Fort Collins-Loveland Water District — want to change that. The two districts are focusing increasingly on outdoor irrigation to meet conservation goals and deal with the water demands of a growing population…

Fort Collins Utilities provides water to most of Fort Collins north of Harmony. Fort Collins-Loveland Water District provides water to most of Fort Collins south of Harmony as well as parts of Loveland, Timnath, Windsor and Larimer County.

Fort Collins Utilities, whose water use has consistently declined since the ’80s, has a goal of reducing water use another 10% by 2030. Fort Collins-Loveland Water District is headed toward a goal of reducing water use 10% between 2015 and 2024.

“We know population will double by 2050, and we know the rivers won’t,” said Chris Matkins, Fort Collins-Loveland Water District general manager. “So we understand that we’ve got to make some changes.”

Fort Collins Utilities has lowered its overall water use since the ’80s, and the community’s per-capita use reached 143 gallons a day in 2018 (down from 248 in 1989). Fort Collins-Loveland Water District’s per-capita use reached about 177 gallons a day in 2014 and has significantly declined since then, Matkins said.

Winner of the Best Tasting Water in the Rocky Mountain Section-City of Fort Collins — @RMSAWWA

Winning cities representatives 2019.
Photo credit: AWWA — Rocky Mountain Section

Here’s the release from the AWWA — Rocky Mountain Section:

The water has been tasted, the water has been tested and the winner of the “Best of the Rocky Mountain Section” water taste test has been announced! City of Fort Collins took first place with a panel of veteran judges and media reporters evaluating water appearance, quality, order, and taste, of course. Competition was stiffer this year with 15 municipalities, from Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico, competing for the title of the best drinking water in the mountain west during the 2019 annual conference of the Rocky Mountain Section of the American Water Works (RMSAWWA) in Keystone, Colorado. You can learn more about the winner, City of Fort Collins Utility, by visiting http://www.fcgov.com. Second place was awarded to Aurora Water, Colorado with the City of Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities, Wyoming coming in third.

City of Fort Collins will now go on to represent the mountain west in the national “Best of the Best” water taste test at the American Water Work Association’s Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE20) in Orlando, Florida, June 14-17, 2020. Over 11,000 water professionals across the country will gather at ACE20 where the best-tasting tap water in North American will be declared.

The RMSAWWA is the regional section for the AWWA, which is the largest non-profit, science-based organization in the world for drinking water professionals. The RMSAWWA covers Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico and has over 2,400 members, representing water utilities, engineering consultants and water treatment specialty firms.

Job Announcement: General Manager Position Northern Colorado Water Association Wellington, #Colorado

From email from the Northern Colorado Water Association:

The Northern Colorado Water Association (NCWA), a Colorado non-profit corporation, which provides potable water service to approximately 1,500 rural customers in northern Larimer County, is seeking a General Manager. NCWA provides domestic water to the rural area roughly between Fort Collins and the Wyoming border; and between the foothills and the Interstate 25 corridor. Existing sources of water supply include wells and connections to area water districts. The current General Manager is retiring at the end of 2019 and it is anticipated that the replacement would start around December 1, 2019.

If you are qualified and interested in applying for this position, please email your resume and a letter of interest identifying your unique qualifications to perform the required duties to rich.ncwa@cowisp.net by September 1, 2019.

Duties of the General Manager include the following:

Provides overall company management, subject to review and approval by the Board of Directors.

Provides overall company management, subject to review and approval by the Board of Directors.

Responsible for all aspects of financial management including:

  • Budgeting
  • Billing
  • Revenue
  • Expenditures
  • Payroll
  • Cash flow
  • Banking
  • Investments
  • Insurance
  • Taxes
  • Coordination with outside accountants/auditors
  • Preparation of monthly reports of financial activities for the Board of Directors
  • Performs continual monitoring, assessment, and identification of the water system’s capability to provide reliable water service to existing and future customers including:

  • Evaluation of water system supply capability
  • Determination of ability to serve new taps
  • Identification of needed capital improvements
  • Assessing maintenance needs
  • Evaluation of raw water supplies
  • Long range strategic planning
  • Coordination with outside consultants/jurisdictional agencies
  • Participates in extensive communication and coordination with the Water System Operator relative to field activities and system operation

    Responsible for human resource activities including;

  • Hiring employees
  • Compensation
  • Performance evaluation
  • Acquiring and administering employee benefits
  • Filing periodic government reports
  • Addresses customer questions and/or complaints

    Attends Board of Directors meetings, prepares agendas, takes minutes, and advises the Board of the company’s activities, status, etc.

    Organizes the annual Membership meeting, provides legal notice, secures proxies, and provides a report of the company’s activities during the previous year to the attendees

    Administers the acquisition and maintenance of office equipment and software

    Acquires and coordinates legal counsel when appropriate.

    Organizes and maintains company records

    Other activities that may arise or be directed by the Board

    Photo credit: Melissa Wiseheart via the Northern Colorado Water Association

    Soldier Canyon Water Treatment Authority embarks on $38.9 million expansion

    The Soldier Canyon Dam is located on the east shore of Horsetooth Reservoir, 3.5 miles west of Fort Collins, Colorado. The zoned earthfill dam has an outlet works consisting of a concrete conduit through the base of the dam, controlled by two 72-inch hollow-jet valves. The foundation is limey shales and sandstones overlain with silty, sandy clay. Photo credit Reclamation.

    From The North Forty News (Annika Deming):

    Soldier Canyon Water Treatment Authority recently broke ground on a $38.9 million expansion to the water treatment plant in Fort Collins, Colorado. Fort Collins-Loveland Water District (FCLWD) receives the majority of the water it provides to 45,000 people in parts of Fort Collins, Loveland, Timnath, Windsor and Larimer County from the Soldier Canyon Filter Plant. Slated for a 2021 completion, the project will allow Soldier Canyon to meet peak summer capacity demands without relying on any other plants. It will also improve water quality with the construction of additional taste and odor facilities.

    FCLWD currently receives raw water from the North Poudre Irrigation Company, Colorado-Big Thompson (C-BT) project, Josh Ames, Divide Canal and Reservoir Company, and Windsor Reservoir Company. Raw Water sources must be treated before being delivered to customers. Most of the water delivered to customers for household usage comes from the Soldier Canyon Filter Plant, which pulls from the Poudre River and Horsetooth Reservoir. The plant has some of the highest quality water in the area, which is measured and reported on quarterly for the plant, and years for FCLWD. The remainder of the water comes from the City of Fort Collins Water Treatment Facility and the City of Loveland Water Treatment Plant.

    After the Soldier Canyon plant expansion is complete staff will be able to treat 60 million gallons of water per day. They will also have more treatment tools available for taste and odor removal, additional flocculation and sedimentation facilities, and additional contact time for chlorine to inactivate viruses and other pathogens. The expansion will be constructed offline, meaning minimal impact to FCLWD customers. At the end of the project, it will be connected to the existing facility.

    “Our mission has always been to provide high quality, secure, reliable and affordable water to our customers,” says Chris Matkins, FCLWD general manager. “As the district continues to expand, we need to ensure we can continue to provide the highest quality water in the area water to customers. We are always planning for the future and this expansion is part of a multi-prong plan to meet demand and maintain infrastructure.”

    Soldier Canyon Filter Plant, located at the base of Horsetooth Reservoir, treats and distributes water for three local entities: Fort Collins-Loveland Water District, North Weld County Water District and East Larimer County Water District.

    FCLWD has provided water services to businesses and citizens since 1961. The District serves approximately 45,000 people in an area that encompasses approximately 60 square miles in parts of Fort Collins, Loveland, Timnath, Windsor and Larimer County. Governed by separately elected Boards of Directors, the Districts provide the full spectrum of high-quality and dependable water treatment and delivery as well as water reclamation services. For additional information about Fort Collins-Loveland Water District, its services and project visit http://www.fclwd.com or follow us on Facebook.

    For additional information and updated on the expansion as well as tips for water conservation and efficiency visit FCLWD’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/fclwd.

    @Northern_Water meets with Larimer County Commissioners to craft IGA for #NISP

    Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) map July 27, 2016 via Northern Water.

    From The Loveland Reporter-Herald (Craig Young):

    The meeting between the three commissioners and four members of the board of Northern Water, which has been working since 2002 on the proposed Northern Integrated Supply Project, was intended as a starting point in the two bodies’ goal to craft an intergovernmental agreement to govern certain aspects of the project.

    The project known as NISP, if it receives final approval later this year or early in 2010 from the Army Corps of Engineers, would result in Glade Reservoir in Larimer County and Galeton Reservoir in Weld County, and a system of pipelines to move water to and from the Poudre River and the South Platte River and to irrigation canals.

    The project, being funded by 11 municipalities and four water districts in northeast Colorado, would be capable of supplying 40,000 acre-feet of water each year…

    Although the meeting was intended as a work session, with no opportunity for public input, more than 30 members of the public filled the chairs set up in the commissioners’ hearing room in Fort Collins and required more to be brought in.

    At a few points in the Northern Water staff members’ presentations, low-level displays of disapproval could be heard from people in the audience.

    The meeting mainly consisted of slide presentations about the three aspects of the project that Larimer County has a say in: the route of the pipeline, the rerouting of 7 miles of U.S. 287 north of Ted’s Place that will be displaced by Glade Reservoir, and recreation on the new reservoir and the property around it.

    The two boards will meet again Sept. 23 to work more substantively toward an eventual intergovernmental agreement on those issues, according to staff members.

    Stephanie Cecil and Christie Coleman, water resources engineers with Northern Water, laid out some details of the three areas before the commissioners:

  • The pipeline in Larimer County would be 32 to 54 inches in diameter.
  • The pipe would be buried, and the construction would require a 100-foot-wide easement along its route during construction and a permanent 60-foot easement for future maintenance.
  • After construction, Northern Water would return the disturbed property to its previous condition or better, Cecil said.
  • U.S. 287 would be moved to the east, and its construction would be completed before Glade Reservoir is finished, to avoid traffic disruptions.
  • The new reservoir would provide about 16,000 surface acres for recreational uses such as boating and fishing.
  • A 170-acre area around Glade Reservoir would feature a visitor center, trails, campgrounds, boat ramp and parking areas, including a lot to allow people to carpool up the Poudre Canyon.
  • The recreational projects that Northern Water has committed to providing were worth $9 million when last calculated. The water conservancy district would arrange with a third party to run the recreation, such as Larimer County, Colorado Parks and Wildlife or a private company.
  • Coleman talked about the public outreach efforts that Northern Water has conducted so far, including the feedback-gathering during the environmental impact statement process, tours, more than 60 public events, informational mailings, one-on-one meetings and the recent launch of a new public-information website, http://nisptalk.com.

    Some activities at Windsor Lake Reservoir are not permitted due to cyanobacteria bloom

    Windsor Lake Reservoir. Photo credit: The Town of Windsor

    From The Fort Collins Coloradoan (Miles Blumhardt):

    Tuesday, Windsor announced it was closing Windsor Lake Reservoir because the water tested positive for cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae. The test was conducted Thursday.

    The popular lake’s swim beach and dog beach have been roped off. Swimming, bathing and pets are not allowed in the water. Rentals and concessions will not be available during the closure.

    Permitted motorized and non-motorized boaters are allowed on the lake but tubing and water skiing are not allowed. Boat traffic actually agitates the water and helps reduce the bacteria, which is why it is allowed. Non-motorized boaters can recreate in the reservoir at their own risk.

    “Out of an abundance of caution last week, we issued a precautionary health advisory,” Eric Lucas, Windsor’s Director of Parks, Recreation & Culture, stated in a release. “A new sample has been sent to the state laboratory today and we will continue to test weekly until the bacteria clears up.”