Treatment plant will help city conserve water
Like many other local governments in the western United States, Westminster, Colo., is concerned about ensuring an adequate supply of water. The Denver suburb has water rights extending into the nearby Rocky Mountains, and it gets drinking water from the Standley Reservoir just outside of town.
For several years, Westminster has irrigated city properties with millions of gallons of potable water taken from the reservoir and purified at the city’s treatment plant. To ensure sufficient potable water in the face of continued growth, the city broke ground last year on a 6-mgd water reclamation facility, one of the largest in the West. Westminster plans to divert water from its existing wastewater treatment plant, treat it at the new facility and then use it for irrigation at city parks and golf courses.
Reclaiming the wastewater for nonpotable uses will reduce the demands on the city’s raw water resources. Furthermore, rates for the reclaimed water will be 80 percent of the potable water rate, according to Diane Phillips, Westminster’s capital improvement projects coordinator.
The plant itself will cost $10 million; an 11-mile pipeline to carry the water to the city will cost $7 million. The plant will be expanded to handle 10 mgd within 10 years to meet projected demands resulting from growth. According to Phillips, the facility should enable the city to save money in the future — particularly if, as is expected, higher potable water treatment standards are adopted by EPA under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
A $17 million low-interest loan from the Colorado Water and Power Authority is financing the project. The city chose as its general contractor the Denver office of CDM Engineers & Constructors, a subsidiary of Cambridge, Mass.-based Camp, Dresser & McKee. The Denver office of Kansas City, Kan.-based Black & Veatch designed the facility; and Denver-based Tierdael Construction is the pipeline contractor. Completion is slated for May 2000.