District Considers Intergovernmental Agreements (IGA)
With development in Douglas County continuing at its torrid pace, the Pinery Water and Wastewater District has taken significant steps to protect our groundwater resources. The District has established a Groundwater Protection Zone within its boundaries that requires property owners comply with strict rules to protect our groundwater supply. These in depth rules range from requiring developers to provide an insurance policy on our water supply to controlling what chemicals can be applied to lawns.
While these rules go a long way toward protecting our groundwater resources these rules do not apply outside of our District Boundaries (on the south side the boundary of the District is just south of Bayou Gulch). It would be of great benefit to the District to apply these rules further up the Cherry Creek basin.
What does this have to do with Castle Rock and Franktown? Both Castle Rock and Franktown are considering additional development within their boundaries and both communities are considering building wastewater treatment plants that would discharge into Cherry Creek above our water supplies. To deal with this issue and to provide a way to apply the Pinery's groundwater protection rules up the Cherry Creek basin, the District is working on agreements with Castle Rock and Franktown. These intergovernmental agreements would require Franktown and the portions of Castle Rock that are in our groundwater protection zone to comply with our groundwater protection rules. Additionally, we would provide wastewater treatment services for both communities in our existing wastewater treatment plant and they would not build wastewater plants upstream of our water supplies.
The nature of the agreements being discussed require that Castle Rock and Franktown bear all of the costs required to make the connection to our treatment plant and that they pay their full share of the treatment system costs. Some people may wonder whether these agreements might promote development in the area. The Pinery Water and Wastewater District Board has wrestled with that very issue. Therefore we are closely monitoring all development that could have a significant impact on our water supply.
If you have any questions or comments on this issue please contact us at 303-841-2797, or come to our December Board Meeting. The meeting is on December 8, at 7:00 PM. Call the office for directions.
Douglas County Passes Water Supply Criteria
Earlier this year, Douglas County adopted new Water Supply Criteria. These criteria require that new development in the county demonstrate that there is adequate water to supply the development without negatively impacting adjacent communities. The water supply criteria define "adequate" as at least a 100-year supply of water. These regulations will help to make sure that new development will not place a water supply burden on the existing residents of the County.
Tap Fees - Growth Pays its Own Way
When a new home is built within the Pinery Water and Wastewater District the builder must pay Tap Fees for water and sewer service. These tap fees are used to pay for the Capital improvements that are required for the water and wastewater systems. This places the cost of growth directly on those who are causing it rather than on existing customers. The money that you pay in your water and sewer bills pay for the operation and maintenance of the system, plus repairs.
Gas Leak on Windpoint
On October 28, 1998 there was a serious gas leak on Windpoint. This gas leak resulted in approximately 15 homes being evacuated for about 6 hours. This leak was caused when a sewer-cleaning contractor (hired by a homeowner) cleaned out a blockage in the homeowner's sewer service that turned out to be a gas line. Apparently, when the gas line was installed, it was drilled through the sewer service line. When the gas line was cut it vented directly into the sewer system until Public Service could isolate the leak and shut it off; about 3 hours after the line was first cut. The Pinery Water and Wastewater District, the Parker Fire Department, the Douglas County Sheriffs Department, the Red Cross, and Public Service Company all responded to this emergency. The District would like to thank the affected homeowners for their cooperation. We would also like to thank the Parker Fire Department, the Douglas County Sheriffs Department, the Red Cross, and Public Service Company for their prompt response, and cooperation during this serious event.
Biosolids Beneficial Reuse Program
What are Biosolids?
Biosolids are a natural soil conditioner developed by natural drying and composting of wastewater solids. Biosolids increases the available soil moisture and creates favorable conditions for plant root development. This recycled product works best when incorporated into the existing soil to improve the soil's porosity, nutrient viability and water retention capacity.
Now, you wonder, what are wastewater solids?
These wastewater solids consist of dead microscopic organisms and bacteria that have spent their lives breaking raw wastewater down into basic organic components (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, etc.). When these organisms die, their bodies, concentrated with these components, are processed through natural air drying and composting. Before biosolids can be used, they must pass stringent tests required by state and federal regulatory agencies. The Pinery Water and Wastewater District has developed a process which allows us to pass all the prescribed tests to meet Class "A" requirements for final use or disposal. The District monitors the product on an ongoing basis to assure the consumer that the product is environmentally and hygienically safe for the intended uses. A complete chemical analysis, including nutrient values for biosolids, is available from the District.
Biosolids are ideal for home landscape and gardening, including container gardens, Xeriscape, vegetable and flowerbeds. They may also be broadcast over existing grass or used as mulch. Polymers used in processing biosolids increases water retention of the material, thus irrigation requirements are reduced. The user should be aware that some musty type odors might occur, particularly when wetted, until the material is absorbed into the soil. While the phosphorous content in biosolids is high, additional fertilization may be necessary to provide sufficient nitrogen, potassium and iron.
In our gardens at the Wastewater Treatment Plant, a common little annual called 'Cosmos' that usually grows 18" to 24" tall, grows to a towering 51/2 feet tall !! I'm not so sure Jack didn't know about biosolids when he planted those "magic" beans ! Watch for more information in the spring about the availability of Biosolids or call Kevin or Shannon at 303-841-2797 if you have questions.
New Pump Stations and Water Storage Tanks Planned
As you have probably observed, the Pinery is in a period of unprecedented growth. The Pinery Water & Wastewater District must expand its potable water pumping, storage and well facilities to serve this new development, and to provide redundancy to its potable water system. New developments that will require water service within the next year include the Timbers, the new Middle School and the development west of Highway 83. In addition, these facilities are designed to provide water to portions of the Old Pinery, High Prairie Farms, the South Pinery and High Prairie Farms III. To serve these areas, the District will build two 800,000 gallon underground reservoirs and two pump stations in 1999.
Two of these facilities will be built along the south side of South Pinery Parkway in the green belt area bounded by South Pinery Parkway and High Prairie Farms Drive. The first facility is a pump station that will be located south of South Pinery Parkway, just east of the intersection with Singletree Lane. The pump station will be mostly hidden from view from homes to the east by the forested knoll that runs along the south side of the parkway, but will be visible from the Parkway.
The second facility will be a buried concrete reservoir. The reservoir will be located on the south side of South Pinery Parkway just east (uphill) of the equestrian underpass downhill from the intersection of Nuthatch Lane. The circular reservoir will be approximately 80 to 100 feet in diameter. The reservoir will be completely buried, and the area around the reservoir contoured to blend into the existing topography from all observation angles. The top of the reservoir will be covered with six inches to one foot of soil and seeded with native grassland vegetation. A few pieces of equipment associated with the reservoir will be above ground level, but will be camouflaged as much as practical.
The second pump station will be located west of Highway 83 (Parker Road) directly behind the District Office and Maintenance Building. The second reservoir will be located east of Selly Road. This reservoir will also be completely buried, and the top planted with native grasses.
Facility design will begin in December and construction is scheduled for spring 1999. Please feel free to call the District office (303-841-2797) if you have any questions or concerns regarding these projects.
Television Inspections & Sewer Cleaning
Early to mid November the District will continue its program to do television inspections and cleaning of our aging sewer collection system. This activity will cause no interruptions in services to our rate payers, however you may see jet cleaners and vans belonging to DRC Construction in the streets and green belt areas near your homes. The TV inspection program is scheduled to view all sewer mains within the District. This program assists the District in identification and correction of problem areas prior to system backups. Routine cleaning of sewer mains assists in prevention of sewer main stoppages by removing accumulated solids. We are finding a lot of locations with heavy grease accumulations that will likely cause future blockages. We urge all District residents to refrain from dumping cooking grease and oils down their drains. If you should have any questions please call (303) 841-2797 for additional information.
The District has made Water Conservation Kits available to all our customers. Even though we had good responses to our initial offering we hope all our customers will take advantage of this great offer. The District will sell the kits for only $3.00 each! Hurry and pick yours up today at the District office or call Mary Applegate to reserve yours at 303-841-2797.
Winter Flushing of the Water System
New for this year, we will be implementing a winter flushing program. It is scheduled to start sometime in the month of December. We will be targeting cul-de-sacs and other low usage areas to freshen up the water by opening hydrants in those neighborhoods. You will be notified by way of door hangers a day prior to flushing. Our maintenance crew will flush to storm drains and sanitary sewer lines in order to limit icing problems. If you have any comments or concerns please let us know.
Master Shutoff Valve?
If a water pipe inside your house freezes and begins to leak, would you know what to do? Would your children? These homeowner nightmares do happen and damage can be minimized if you know what to do.
First, find and share with all members of your household the location of the master shutoff valve. It's normally located where the water line enters the house from the meter pit. If a pipe breaks inside your house this valve will turn off the water. Mark it with a tag or paint it with a brightly colored paint.
Being prepared and quick action could help save your home and the treasures within.
Why should you conserve water?
Like many things around us we seldom appreciate what is plentiful and easy to obtain. Like Water! What could be more plentiful then water? All you have to do is turn on your faucet 24 hours a day and there it is, ready to use. Remember, the water we use does not just magically appear.
Treated water is a carefully manufactured product, which is served to your home after traveling through many miles of pipeline, and undergoing a regimented treatment process.
Just 1% of the world's water supply is available for human consumption. The rest is too salty or locked in ice caps and glaciers. This small percentage keeps the world's agriculture, manufacturing, community, personal household and sanitary needs supplied. We actually drink very little of the treated water supplied to our houses. The rest goes on lawns and gardens, in washing machines and down toilets and drains!
Even though the experts state that we have enough water for many years to come, it is a finite resource. So you can see, by helping to conserve water you are helping the environment by easing the burden on water storage, purification, distribution and treatment facilities.