A $73 million project is underway to create a more sustainable water system for part of northern El Paso County.
The Northern Water Delivery System will allow the Triview Metropolitan District in Monument to use renewable water rights to help replace its diminishing groundwater resources, according to District Manager Jim McGrady.
“This project is something that brings renewable water into northern El Paso County in an area that is not blessed with a lot of Denver Basin groundwater,” he said. “The production levels in the Denver Basin Wells even today are not that great and it's not going to get better. It's only going to get worse. This project is something that will help mitigate the decline in production in those (wells).”
Construction was recently completed on the system’s pipeline. Building a pump station is the next part of the project, which is planned for this winter. McGrady expects the system to be complete next summer.
The project cost includes the entire NWDS infrastructure, storage and surface water rights, as well as a connection or service availability fee that will be paid by the district to Colorado Springs Utilities.
McGrady said they’ve been able to pay for a substantial portion of the project in cash, along with low-interest loans and bonds.
“Without the growth that we've had in the Triview area and our tap fees,” he said, “we would not have been able to do that. So growth basically paid for the Northern Delivery system.”
Triview currently serves about two-thirds of Monument or around 2,200 homes, 80 commercial customers as well as some irrigation users mostly on the eastern side of town.
McGrady estimates about a $15-a-month increase for current residential Triview water users. He estimates that the district could see about 1,000 new homes in the future, but not much more.
He recently presented the Monument Town Council with a proposal to join the NWDS. The council also heard another presentation from The Loop Authority for a different system, also designed to carry renewable water to parts of El Paso County.
It's up to the town council if the rest of the town will become part of either system.
The Forest Lakes Water District which serves a few hundred homes is on track to participate in the NWDS. The Donala Water and Sanitation District might also be a potential participant in either the Loop or the NWDS. If they join, the additional costs that would appear on customers' bills or taxes in these districts would be determined by their respective management and boards.
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