Parker

‘This gives us another water source’

Water Resource Centralization Project to begin in June

Posted 6/21/17

Like mystics carrying divining rods in the desert, Colorado officials are always looking for more water sources for their communities. If said water comes from a renewable source, so much the better.

In conjunction with Aurora Water, Denver Water …

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Parker

‘This gives us another water source’

Water Resource Centralization Project to begin in June

Posted

Like mystics carrying divining rods in the desert, Colorado officials are always looking for more water sources for their communities. If said water comes from a renewable source, so much the better.

In conjunction with Aurora Water, Denver Water and the South Metro Water Supply Authority, Parker Water is about to begin a system upgrade projected to bring more than 390 million gallons of potable water a year to Parker customers.

“This puts us in good spot,” said Rebecca Tejada, senior project manager for the Parker Water and Sanitation District. “This gives us another water source.”

The project will consolidate 16 well water sources into three points, building a pumping and treatment facility at the Rueter-Hess Reservoir, and changing the way Parker’s water is disinfected.

The Ridgegate Line, four miles of pipes to bring water from Aurora to Parker, was recently completed, but Parker can’t use it until its disinfection process is consistent with Aurora’s.

Chlorine will still be the primary disinfectant, but the district will add ammonia, to create the compound chloramine. Districts including Denver, Castle Rock and Aurora already use chloramine, which lasts longer than chlorine alone and doesn’t have as many issues with odor or taste, Tejada said.

Lisa Darling, executive director of the South Metro Water Supply Authority, said cooperation between the cities in the region is essential to “firming up the yield” of a sustainable water supply and providing for Parker and other South Metro partners.

“‘Regional’ used to be a dirty word,” Darling said. “What we’ve found, though, is that things work out better when you work with other people.”

The project will be the most expensive undertaking since completing the $52 million treatment facility at Parker Road and Woodman Drive in 2015.

The $40 million cost will be covered by a combination of tap fees from new developments, including $3 million from the Canyons development south of the Rueter-Hess Reservoir, $11 million from other WISE partners, and revenue from customer fees.

Tejada said rate increases are already scheduled to follow inflation trends, so customers shouldn’t expect sticker shock when they receive their next bill.

“Rates won’t increase any more than they already would have,” Tejada said.

Hundreds of millions of gallons of renewable water goes a long way, but other projects, like relying more on water rights purchased from farmers along the South Platte River, will eventually help meet the district’s goal of using 75 percent renewable water by Parker’s projected build out around 2040.

Darling said South Metro partners like Parker are also researching better conservation, reuse and storage methods, all to meet the authority’s goal of getting 85 percent of its water from sustainable sources by 2065.

It won’t end Tejada’s never-ending search for water, but she hopes to put the divining rod down, at least for a while.

“The important thing is it fills the gap and push back those other, big dollar projects,” Tejada said.

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