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Water-Saving Tips Debuted to Help Coloradans Save 22 Gallons of Water a Day

A logo with the text "WATER22" and stylized elements suggesting a mountain, a tree, water droplet, and a target.

If you visit our home page you’ll notice that we’ve added information on the website’s banner about Water22. The Governor announced Water22 in January. It is a year-long celebration of some significant milestones including the 100th anniversary of the Colorado River Compact and the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act.

But there’s another anniversary in 2022 that is closer to home for the Roxborough community. This year is the 50th anniversary of the founding of the community. The community has come a long way in 50 years. It survived bankruptcy, secured a permanent, renewable water supply, regionalized wastewater treatment, and built a state-of-the-art water treatment plant.

But the 50th anniversary of the founding of the community also means the infrastructure the community relies on to deliver water and collect wastewater is aging. Aging infrastructure is a challenge for nearly every water utility in the country. Aging sewer pipelines can leak and suffer catastrophic failures that release wastewater to the environment and cause backups in homes. Aging water pipes and valves can break and interrupt service and damage property. The topography of the community requires a lot of pumping, and pumps and the associated electrical equipment have reached the end of their useful life.

Roxborough WSD has identified millions of dollars in necessary repairs, rehabilitation, and replacement projects that are needed to keep the system operating efficiently. Over the next several months I will be doing regular posts with examples of aging infrastructure. I’ll provide one example now:

In May you’ll see construction start on a project to replace the water transmission main in Rampart Range Road near Village Circle East. The existing transmission line is a 12-inch pipeline that was installed in 1973. While pipeline age is one issue, the District’s 2020 Master Plan identified capacity constraints with the existing pipeline as another concern. There’s been significant growth in Roxborough Village since the pipeline was originally put into service, and to make sure we can efficiently serve the community it must be replaced with a new 24-inch diameter pipeline. The District and its engineers have spent well over a year designing the replacement pipeline. This $2.8 million project will start construction in May. The good news is the District has the reserves to fund this project; the bad news is there are dozens of similar projects.

Cash funding all the necessary projects to address aging infrastructure will require the projects to be completed over many years and will affect rates. The other alternative is to continue the current debt service mill levy of 2.9 mills (which is $1,450 per year for a home valued at $500,000). We will be discussing a potential bond issue to address aging infrastructure by extending the existing mill levy – no new taxes – which would provide the funding resources necessary to complete these projects sooner, with less impact on monthly bills, and to ensure the District can continue to provide the high level of service the community expects.  

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