Goal: 'Get everyone on renewable water'

New agreement provides treated water to southwest communities

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Rick Beane, a certified arborist who lives in Chatfield Estates southwest of Highlands Ranch, fills a 350-gallon tank with water from a nearby fire hydrant three times a week. He takes the tank home and uses his cistern to get tap water.

He's been doing this for the past five years because his well went dry.

“It's unbelievable considering he lives in south metro Denver,” said Melanie Goetz, a former Roxborough Water and Sanitation District board member.

But Beane's water troubles may now be solved.

Like many others in the area, he will receive treated water — hopefully by next fall — from an intergovernmental agreement between Roxborough Water and Sanitation District and Centennial Water and Sanitation District.

The agreement will deliver water to residential customers in Chatfield Acres and Chatfield East subdivisions, along with existing businesses in the Titan Road Industrial Park.

“The biggest benefit is that we are going to have good, domestic water,” Beane said. “I think it's great that the county and two water districts have come to a solution for a 20-year problem.”

Douglas County and its Water Alternatives Program spearheaded the agreement to help communities that owned wells.

Once word was out that the county wanted to help, Douglas County Commissioner Jill Repella worked with Aurora Water to get 150 acre-feet of water supplied through Roxborough Water and Sanitation District, said general manager Larry Moore.

The county then paid for preliminary engineering work to determine if it was possible to get treated water to homes in Chatfield and businesses in Titan Road Industrial Park.

Last November, an election was held for the public with a detailed ballot about the logistics of the new water, including how the project would be financed and the infrastructures needed.

“The results were a pretty good indication that the people wanted this water project,” Moore said.

Aurora Water, Centennial Water —the provider for Highlands Ranch — and Roxborough Water worked together to deliver treated water to about 251 homes.

Centennial will pick up the water from Aurora Water, treat it, store it and deliver it to paying customers in master meters, the volume of public water used by residents and businesses. Roxborough will then measure the master meters to determine how much water its customers will need the following month.

Construction for appropriate delivery infrastructures will start in early 2016. It will take about seven months to complete the project, Moore said. Paying customers will have treated water by next fall.

The intergovernmental agreement serves as an example to other cities in the state, Moore said.

“When you get people working in the same direction, you can accomplish a lot of things,” Moore said. “The end goal is to have everyone on renewable water.”

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