History of Roxborough Water and Sanitation District’s Plum Valley Heights Subdistrict
In December 2010, the Roxborough Water and Sanitation District (RWSD) obtained a permanent raw-water supply through an agreement with the City of Aurora. The supply was a little more water than what the Roxborough community needed, even at total build-out.
Shortly thereafter, the groundwater-dependent Plum Valley Heights’ (PVH) community approached RWSD asking to be connected to its surface water system. Many of the PVH wells were becoming unreliable. Prospects for well owners were growing increasingly unreliable. Groundwater throughout northwest Douglas County is not being replenished.
The RWSD Board agreed to offer connections to reliable drinking water for the 29 Plum Valley Heights households. But the next step for the PVH homeowners finding a way to fund, not only the cost of the water itself, but the infrastructure required to connect to RWSD’s system. The two sides determined it would be best to create a “Subdistrict,” which allocated these new costs to PVH property owners and provided a financing mechanism. In a nutshell, a Subdistrict is a legal method that allows an existing district (RWSD) to partition off an area of the District, PVH in this case, to fund and pay for the infrastructure that would only benefits PVH.
Concurrently, Douglas County officials began actively pursuing solutions for other rural property owners in northwest Douglas County who also were experiencing unreliable groundwater wells — just like the PVH community.
In 2013 the Douglas County Water Alternatives Program was created to encourage groundwater-reliant communities to survey residents to assess their interest and potential level of commitment. Shortly after the PVH agreement was completed, County Commissioners approached RWSD with three other neighboring communities wanting to pursue connections to its water system.
Since the RWSD did not have enough water to accommodate the additional communities, Douglas County Commissioners took the lead in obtaining an additional annual 150 acre-feet of raw water from Aurora, which would be conveyed through RWSD. This step enabled RWSD to offer connections to its reliable water source for the three communities: Chatfield Acres, Chatfield East and the Titan Road Industrial Park. The County and the RWSD then assembled a financing package and facilitated a successful vote in the communities for their inclusion into the existing PVH Subdistrict of RWSD. Then RWSD and the County helped the expanded Subdistrict secure $11.8 million in low-interest loans and $2.1 million in grants.
And so, the Northwest Douglas County Water Project became a reality — an integral part of the County’s overall Water Alternatives Program. Today the project, through RWSD’s subdistrict, delivers high-quality, renewable drinking water to approximately 300 area homes and businesses.