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Castle Rock water director excited about new projects

Town will get boost from recycling systems that won’t hike bills

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Castle Rock Director of Utilities Mark Marlowe is excited for 2018.

That’s because he and the town’s water department have two big projects lined up for the new year, and both are focused on putting more recycled water into the town’s system.

Castle Rock in November finalized the purchases of a water reservoir and diversion structure along East Plum Creek north of Sedalia from the United Water and Sanitation District.

The “diversion” is a structure that collects water from the creek, which can then be stored in the 78-million-gallon reservoir until the town wants to use it.

Marlowe said they also purchased a pipeline northwest of Sedalia to pull water from the South Platte River and will build another eight-mile pipeline running from the Sedalia reservoir to Castle Rock to send water back to the town’s Plum Creek Water Purification Facility. The plant will be expanding its purification operation to process the new water.

It’s a big deal to Marlowe, because without this new system, he said, the town has no way to capture roughly 3 million gallons of water it already has the rights to and could be reusing.

“This is really important because this is some of the most cost-effective water that Castle Rock has,” Marlowe said, explaining the town currently sends its used water back into East Plum Creek and West Plum Creek.

“We treat it and put it back into the creek,” Marlowe said.

Without the new reuse system, the water would continue moving down East Plum Creek, into Chatfield Reservoir and eventually into the South Platte River, Marlowe said.

The town can lease some of the water it puts back into the creek but much of it ends up being used by other cities and towns and more eventually travels out of state. This new system will re-catch water the town sent down the creek, and ship it back to Castle Rock’s purification plant where it will be processed and cycled back into the town’s system.

Construction for the pipeline and an additional pump station will begin this summer with an $18.6 million budget. The water plant expansion has a $16.6 million budget and might begin in 2018. The town hopes to begin using water from the new diversion in 2019 or 2020.

The projects won’t bring changes to customers’ water bills, Marlowe said, but they will be funded through water resource fees already applied to their monthly ticket, which average about $26.

The entire project has long been anticipated as part of the town’s reusable water plan first put into place in 2006, because as with many water projects, Marlowe said, this latest project was years in the making.

“Castle Rock now has,” he said, “a way to recover our reuse water.”

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