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Currently, PWSD only has one water tank located in Zone 3. By adding a second tank we’re able to add critical storage and system redundancy, while also increasing positive pressure and increased fire flow in the system.
Construction on the water tank will begin on August 15, 2022, and construction on the pipeline is scheduled to begin later in the process. The two projects will then run concurrently with full completion scheduled for December 2023.
The budget for this project is $14.5 million. While all projects completed by PWSD have an impact on rates, the costs for this project were part of the District’s long-term capital plan and therefore included in our long-term rate plans along with many other necessary projects and costs.
The project will be fenced off and will be occurring on PWSD’s property or acquired easements.
Residents in the area can expect to hear construction noise and traffic in the area on weekdays from 7:30am – 5:00pm. There is also potential for weekend work if it’s deemed necessary. Any variances will be approved by Douglas County.
Because the tank will be buried underground, the project will involve digging and hauling dirt from the site. Traffic will include heavy machinery, cement trucks, tractor trailers, construction staff vehicles, etc.
This project is located in a residential neighborhood and should not have an impact on local businesses.
We are partnering with Garney Construction, SM&RC Structural Engineers Inc., and Providence Infrastructure Consultants on this project.
We are relying on traditional, tried and true methods to build this tank and pipeline, just as we have for the other ones in the District. In fact, this will be the 7th water tank located within the District.
Inquiries about the project may be directed to the PWSD Engineering Department.
Fact: This is false. PWSD has a robust long-term water supply plan that we have developed for more than a decade. The centerpiece of the plan is the Platte Valley Water Partnership (PVWP), which will help diversify our water portfolio so that we are less reliant on Denver Basin groundwater and instead rely on renewable water sources for 75% of our water needs once all property in Parker Water is fully developed. That project has been lauded by the State of Colorado, water leaders, elected officials, and environmental groups as a sensible approach to delivering more water to Parker.
Unlike many water projects that propose to buy and dry farmland in rural Colorado, the PVWP is built on a unique partnership between PWSD and the Lower South Platte Water Conservancy District in the northeastern corner of the state. The partnership’s approach will provide both farmers and Front Range residents with much-needed water by using new and existing infrastructure to capture and store South Platte River water, mostly in the spring and during storm events. This is water that currently leaves Colorado in quantities that exceed the state’s compact agreements with Nebraska and other downstream states.
As part of the project, PWSD is currently in the process of securing the necessary water rights, attracting more partners for the project to help defray costs, and acquiring the land and easements needed for the project infrastructure. We anticipate the project will begin to provide water to our customers in the late 2030s.
Fact: PWSD held a public hearing on the land purchase and publicly listed the hearing in advance on our Board agenda. The Board agendas are always posted the week before a meeting in our HQ building and on our website, per Colorado open meetings laws.
Answer: The Douglas County Future Fund is a non-profit organization registered to Sean Tonner. Sean Tonner is also a voting member of the Douglas County Water Commission and a principle at Renewable Water Resources, an organization in the process of trying to develop and sell 22,000 acre-feet of water rights located in the San Luis Valley in southeastern Colorado.
Fact: PWSD does not have a position for or against the Douglas County Water Commission and supports its stated goal “to encourage consolidations, renewal/reuse solutions, and address rural water issues." PWSD strongly supports working with other organizations on projects and resources. In fact one of our current board members, Don Langley, is on the Commission and currently serves as its Vice Chair. Additionally, two other PWSD board members, Merlin Klotz and Bill Wasserman, serve as alternates on the Commission.
We will continue to keep our focus on working for our customers while pursuing our long-term water plans, including the Platte Valley Water Partnership, and would oppose any plans that would remove the autonomy individual districts currently have in determining the best path forward to secure sustainable water for their communities.
Fact: Completed in 2023, PWSD built a new facility for our operations, maintenance, and administrative functions, and the cost for the construction of that facility was approximately $53 million. That is true. However, rather than a luxury, this new building is a necessity for the following reasons:
The total cost for the building was around $400 per square foot (psf) and is well below the national average of $591 psf for government administration buildings. Not planning for the district's growth would only cost our ratepayers more in the future.
Fact: PWSD did allocate approximately $1 million dollars to furnish the building with items including desks, chairs, conference tables, kitchen furniture, and cabinetry for the full build-out of 180 employees.
This decision was made due to the fact that the furniture at the old headquarters and other locations did not fit the new space, nor was there enough of it available to meet our needs in the new building.
Additionally, PWSD has listed our former headquarters building for rent, in an effort to bring in additional revenue to the district while also being good stewards of our facilities. It was necessary to keep the existing furniture at that building for use by future tenants.
Fact: This is false. PWSD has held open elections six (6) times since 2014. In 2014, PWSD ran a full election in which five (5) candidates ran for three (3) open seats. However, in the subsequent years, when elections were called, there were never more candidates than there were open seats. Therefore, as allowed by the Colorado local government election code section 1-13.5-513(6) C.R.S, PWSD posted a notice of cancellation and automatic election of the candidates. Holding those complete elections without a valid reason would have cost approximately $100K for each election – costs that we did not have to then pass on to our ratepayers.
In one instance, in 2014, a board member resigned their seat in the middle of their term. As required by law, an individual was appointed to fill that position until the next election was held. The individual then ran for the seat in the next election cycle and completed the remainder of the term as an elected official rather than an appointee.
Fact: The 2023 PWSD election for three (3) open board member seats was held in a drop-off and mail-in ballot format. PWSD hired an outside consultant to run the election on our behalf. The consultant was responsible for managing the ballot collection, ballot counting, and certifying the election. Ballot boxes at the two drop-off locations were locked and inaccessible to PWSD employees.
Additional information about the election and how it was run is available on our website.
Fact: While all water providers require rate increases to keep up with the increased costs of providing water and wastewater services that come from inflation, regulatory requirements, and other pressures, the PWSD board generally only looks at rate adjustments during the annual budgeting process in the fall. The board works with staff to limit rate increases to levels needed to provide continued service and seeks to moderate increases to track as closely to inflation as is reasonably possible.
Additionally, any rate adjustments proposed by PWSD must be posted and open for public comment 30 days prior to any public hearing at which the board will consider the adjustment. Under Parker Water’s policies, we also host two required public hearings before adoption by the board. This means any rate or fee changes, if approved by the board, would not be effective until nearly 60 days after the notice. Additional information about how PWSD sets its rates and fees, along with information about the 2024 rate and fee adjustments, is available on our homepage.
Fact: PWSD began discussions about the Proposed 2024 budget during Board meetings beginning in September 2023. PWSD also held two formal public budget hearings in October and November 2023. Each of the discussions and the hearing dates were listed in the Board agendas. The Board agendas are always posted the week before a meeting, in our HQ building and on our website, per Colorado open meetings laws.
Additionally, details about the proposed budget and any changes were promoted on PWSD’s social media channels to alert customers to the opportunity to publicly comment on them.
Following their confirmation, PWSD included an article about the changes and the out-of-pocket impacts to our customers in our quarterly customer email in December 2023.
Fact: As a public utility, our District Manager’s salary is available as a matter of public record.
As is best practice for any organization, PWSD’s Human Resources department regularly runs compensations surveys, reaching out to our neighboring districts and the water sector as a whole, to benchmark appropriate salary ranges for all employees. The current range for the PWSD District Manager position is $168,975 to $281,625.
Fact: During our most recent board election, PWSD staff learned, for the first time, that in 2004 the Douglas County Assessor did not add 62 addresses to the district’s boundaries due to confusion over the legal description of these properties (which was provided to PWSD by the owner of these properties in 2004). As a consequence of that oversight, there were 96 voters living at those addresses who were not included in the list of voters PWSD received from the Douglas County Clerk’s office and, therefore, did not receive ballots in the mail. This was an unintentional mistake that we are in the process of remedying with the county.
As soon as PWSD staff were made aware of the issue and received the list of impacted voters on the morning of the election, staff contacted the affected voters directly via email and automated phone messages to alert them about their opportunity to vote in the election. Of the impacted voters, six (6) individuals did vote in the election. Therefore, the turnout rate for these 96 properties was 6.3%. For context, PWSD sent out 37,683 ballots and had 3,091 returned ballots for an overall turnout rate of 8.2%.
Despite this unintentional error, the election was conducted fairly. PWSD had no authority to continue the election beyond the close of voting on May 2 at 7:00 p.m. PWSD did everything it reasonably could do to alert the impacted voters and provide them an opportunity to vote, given the circumstances.
Fact: Because the residents affected in the 2023 election were never included in PWSD by the Douglas County Assessor’s office, they had not paid any property taxes to PWSD before the issue was discovered. We have worked with the county to review and update all PWSD boundaries and inclusion records to make sure that all property tax and voter information is accurate in the future.
Your master water shut-off valve should be located where the water line enters your house. When shut off, it turns off the water to the entire house. The valve will be located indoors, along the perimeter of the house, on the side facing the street.
If you’re unable to find it on your own, you can also check your property inspection report, which was completed when you purchased the home.
Finally, if it’s an emergency and you are unable to locate the valve, please contact us and we can help shut-off the water from the curb-stop that attaches your service line to the main line in the street.
Some meters are located inside the home and some are located near the street. If you’re doing work and need to locate your meter, please contact 811 and make a request.
Normal residential water pressure is between 50 and 75 pounds per square inch (psi). Anything above 80 psi can cause leaks in clothes washers, faucets, toilets, bathtubs and exterior hose bibs. We recommend approximately 60 psi
You can test your water’s psi with a simple gauge you can buy at most hardware stores. If the pressure is too high, contact a licensed plumber to determine if a pressure regulator may help.
There are a few steps we recommend that you take each winter to protect your pipes from the cold:
In extreme weather you may also want to run a small trickle of water from faucet.
If your pipes do freeze, you can attempt to thaw them yourself using a hair dryer or portable space heater and running it along the pipe. Do NOT attempt to thaw them using an open flame.
Everything that is flushed, run through the garbage disposal or dumped enters the wastewater system. By doing a few simple things to protect your pipes, you can protect yourself, your family and the overall system from big problems down the road.
To avoid back-ups into your home, we recommend:
Our employees will never ask to enter your home unless we've already scheduled a service appointment with you in advance. Any field service employee will be wearing a PWSD lanyard, apparel with our logo on it and driving an official PWSD vehicle.
We will require someone over the age of 18 to be present.
If you have concerns you can also call us at 303-841-4627.
After reviewing multiple PWSD-owned sites, the Rueter-Hess location was selected due to its centralized location within the district and, specifically, its proximity to the Rueter-Hess Reservoir and Water Purification Facility. Additionally, the location is also large enough to allow all departments and staff to come together in one space, meets PWSD’s projected 20-year growth needs, and allows for future expansion if needed.
The two-story, 102,000 sf building co-locates a total of 180 administrative, operations, and maintenance professionals across two curved (segmented) levels. The new sustainable space was built to house maintenance bays, an open-plan workplace, and a high-performance water quality laboratory.
The design was inspired by a drop of water’s concentric rings of outward momentum and the ceremonial circles used by Native American tribes who once lived in the area. The shape also fits the site's topography better, allowing for reduced excavation costs.
The project took approximately 18 months to complete. We broke ground on the project in Spring 2022 and occupied the building in December 2023.
The construction budget for this project was $53 million. While all projects completed by PWSD have an impact on rates, the costs for this project were part of the District’s long-term capital plan and therefore included in our long-term rate plans along with many other necessary projects and costs.
The most direct impacts are to neighbors in the Heirloom neighborhood. We anticipate increased traffic through the neighborhood, particularly on weekdays.
PWSD is implemented the following to help mitigate community impacts:
PWSD is planning a demonstration garden for low-water landscapes, and examples of new irrigation technology; tours of the garden and other educational opportunities will be offered.
The Rueter-Hess Reservoir and RHWPF sites have a rich history of Native American culture. Inspired by prayer circles that have been discovered at the reservoir, the building entrance faces east. The lobby will feature an educational component and be designed to honor the past, the present, and the future.
We do not anticipate any impacts to local businesses; the site of the building is located on existing PWSD property and is removed from any commercial spaces.
We contracted with Perkins & Will for the building design and JHL for construction services.
PWSD was committed to building a new headquarters that is as sustainable as possible. We made sustainable choices in building performance, windows/energy/solar power, water, ecology, and indoor air quality and materials. The technologies and innovations we installed are equivalent to a Gold LEED certification level.
PFAS compounds are difficult to detect. Technological advances now allow us to detect concentrations in the parts-per-trillion (ppt) range. The scientific understanding and regulatory response to these compounds are uncertain and rapidly evolving.
While scientific studies into the impacts of PFAS in drinking water are currently limited to a handful of chemicals, the EPA and other organizations are conducting more research.
The most studied PFAS, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), have been identified by the EPA as contaminants of concern. Specifically, the EPA currently identifies PFOA as “likely to be a carcinogen,” which is a step below a “carcinogenic” classification. PFOS is currently identified to have “suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential,” a step below PFOA.
The EPA recently published interim lifetime Health Advisories for PFOA and PFOS. The updated advisory levels, which are based on new science and consider lifetime exposure, indicate that some negative health effects may occur with concentrations of PFOA or PFOS in water at 0.004 parts per trillion (ppt) and 0.02 ppt, respectively. (For reference, the level at which the PFOA Health Advisory is an amount roughly equivalent to traveling 0.6 millimeters on a trip to the sun.) These interim health advisories will remain in place until EPA establishes a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation.
In March 2023, the EPA also published a proposed National Primary Drinking Water Regulation for six (6) PFAS. The proposal establishes the following maximum contaminant levels goals (MCLGs):
Scientists are studying the health effects of elevated PFAS blood levels and preliminary research indicates that health effects may include types of cancer, high cholesterol, and decreased vaccine response in children. Because of their prevalence in our homes, as well as environmental exposure via the air, water, and dust, virtually every person in America has a detectable level of PFAS in their blood.
Currently, there is no immediate public health risk, and people do not need to stop drinking their water. The state health department will keep providing facts to help inform the public about the latest science.
PWSD’s source waters are a mix of groundwater and surface water that does not come into contact with known PFAS activities.
Consumer products, such as non-stick pans, waterproof clothing, and fast food containers are the largest source of human exposure to this group of chemicals. Additionally, in communities where some industrial and manufacturing activities occur, these chemicals can contaminate water sources.
While PWSD does not produce, manufacture or use PFAS in the treatment of water or wastewater, they do come through our wastewater systems and treatment plants as a byproduct of products that are used in homes and businesses.
With regard to our drinking water supply, PWSD and other water utilities across the country are scheduled to begin monitoring for 29 different PFAS between 2023 and 2025 under the EPA’s fifth Unregulated Contaminants Monitoring Rule (UCMR).
Under the UCMR, every five years the EPA is required to issue a list of unregulated contaminants to be monitored by water systems under the Safe Drinking Water Act. This monitoring provides EPA and other parties with scientifically valid data on the national occurrence of these contaminants in drinking water. As part of the testing, PWSD will report any findings on our annual Consumer Confidence Report. We will rely on the EPA and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) for further guidance on any regulatory updates and necessary actions as science progresses.
With regard to our wastewater operations, future discharge permit requirements could impact PWSD’s pretreatment program, treatment processes, and biosolids program.
If you are concerned about PFAS exposure, it’s recommended that you consider avoiding the following consumer products:
PFAS Central also maintains a list of PFAS-Free brands and products.
Some home treatment devices (water filters) that meet NSF/ANSI Standards 53 and 58 are certified to remove PFAS. For more information, you can visit NSF International or the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. If you choose to use a home treatment device, please remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
The partners see this as a unique opportunity to optimize existing and future water resources, using newly constructed shared infrastructure, to set a precedent for a mutually-beneficial relationship between agricultural and Front Range water communities in Colorado.
PWSD’s current water resources are sufficient to meet existing demands, but with a population that’s projected to double by build-out, and with the Denver Basin groundwater supplies diminishing over time, PWSD’s ultimate goal is to diversify its water resources portfolio to be comprised of at least 75% renewable water.
With the construction of a shared project infrastructure, LSPWCD will be able to capture, store, and use its water resources more effectively for irrigation purposes. These improvements will help to optimize operations necessary to meet their members’ needs.
In order to accomplish its goals, the PVWP intends to build new infrastructure and make use of existing infrastructure owned by project partners.
Key new infrastructure will include:
Our goal is to protect and work with the communities and individual business and land owners who will be affected by this project.
The project will benefit various groups in multiple ways:
The PVWP protects agriculture by not allowing new ‘buy and dry’ water through its infrastructure and will provide much-needed water to northeast Colorado agriculture. The project will benefit water users in the LSPWCD.
During typical conditions, the intent is for PWSD's tenant farmers to make use of existing senior water rights for irrigation purposes and continue the farming operations.
While current water resources are sufficient for existing PWSD customers’ needs, the population it serves is projected to double by 2040, and groundwater supplies are diminishing over time. PWSD’s goal is to build a water resource portfolio that is at least 75% renewable. The PVWP would allow PWSD access to more than 20,000 acre-feet of reliable, renewable water annually.
Regionally, there will be short-term, economic benefits from construction activity and long-term benefits through the development of a new water supply that addresses local shortages and increased recreational opportunities at the two new reservoirs.
The project provides new off-channel storage and will enhance wildlife habitat through the creation of new reservoirs.
We estimate a cost of approximately $880 million for the entire Platte Valley Water Partnership project.
$560 million has been built into PWSD’s long-term planning and rate structure and would be adequate to complete the first phase. We are currently in discussions with additional entities who may be interested in participating in some portion, or all, of the project.
Currently we are in the middle of the following activities related to the PVWP:
Parker Water and Sanitation District meets all regulatory mandates for clean water.
Testing is done using sophisticated equipment and advanced procedures.
Water quality is regulated by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Safe Drinking Water Act mandates an annual test and Consumer Confidence Report, to explain important aspects of our water such as where it comes from and the level of contaminants as compared to allowable measurements.
Beyond that, PWSD tests weekly for bacteria in order to ensure safety and quality.
Discolored (red) water is caused by naturally occurring minerals in well water. The discolored water poses no health risk to people or animals. Households may experience discolored water during times of hydrant flushing and District water line maintenance. To learn more about discolored (red) water, visit our Discolored Water.
If you experience discolored (red) water, avoid washing laundry because the minerals in the discolored water may stain clothing. If staining does occur, please avoid drying the clothing. Call 303-841-4627 between the hours of 7:30 am and 4:00 pm and Parker Water and Sanitation District will provide you with Iron Out, an iron stain removal powder.
After the flushing or maintenance is completed in your area, run cold water to clear any discolored water in your service lines. Put this water to good use by watering plants or grass through a garden hose.
To learn more about your water and water quality, view our most recent Consumer Confidence Report.
The green boxes, or sample stations, provide designated sampling sites to retrieve potable water samples at any time (24/7) versus sampling directly from homes or businesses.
Currently, the PWSD laboratory staff sample sixty sites for one level of testing for Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) drinking water compliance.
All of these sites are from customer hose bibs. As the population increases, more sample sites are necessary to meet the regulation. Sample sites are chosen to be representative of the entire distribution system.
Wastewater is used water; it includes substances such as human waste, food scraps, oils, soaps and chemicals.
In homes, this means water from sinks, showers, bathtubs, toilets, washing machines and dishwashers. Businesses and industries also contribute their share of used water that must be cleaned.
It's a matter of caring for our environment and for our own health. If it is not properly cleaned, water can carry disease. Since we live, work and play so close to water, harmful bacteria have to be removed to make water safe.
Nature has an amazing ability to cope with small amounts of water wastes and pollution, but it would be overwhelmed if we didn't treat the billions of gallons of wastewater and sewage produced every day before releasing it back to the environment. Treatment plants reduce pollutants in wastewater to a level nature can handle. If the term "wastewater treatment" is confusing to you, you might think of it as "sewage treatment."
Everything that is flushed, run through the garbage disposal or dumped enters the wastewater system. Some pollutants seriously disrupt the water treatment process itself, as well as cause serious damage to homes, business and the environment.
Please do NOT flush these items:
While the well house filtration systems are being implemented, PWSD also has multiple programs in place to help mitigate discolored water issues that our customers experience.
Our current efforts include the use of sequestration chemicals to help isolate the minerals that cause discoloration in the water, seasonal flushing activities, and continuing to implement proactive communication measures to help alert our customers when issues arise.
Once complete, all nine of PWSD’s well houses will have filtration installed in them.
PWSD’s Canyons and Ridgegate Well Houses were the first well facilities to have filtration installed. Both facilities have been outfitted with gravity filtration units with silica sand and anthracite media. The filters were fully integrated in October 2021 and each treats roughly 1 million gallons of water per day (MGD).
Our Rueter-Hess Well House is nearing completion and will have the capacity to treat and filter up to 8.5 million gallons of water per day. Our Reata Well House is scheduled to be next.
The remaining groundwater treatment facilities throughout the District will be prioritized for receiving filtration based on iron and manganese content and their supply to the distribution system.
The filtration project is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.
While all projects completed by PWSD have an impact on rates, the costs for this project were part of the District’s long-term capital plan and therefore included in our long-term rate plans along with many other necessary projects and costs.
Depending on the location of various well houses, some construction traffic may occur. All of the construction will be occurring on PWSD’s property.
PWSD has hired Garney and Tetra Tech as our Design Build team for this program. This team has a long-standing relationship with PWSD that has proven to be successful and integral in the continued improvements to our well house upgrades.