Buckman Direct Diversion Project Diverts Rio Grande Water for First Time
Water will be conveyed 11 miles to Buckman Regional Water Treatment Plant
CH2M HILL, a global full-service consulting, design, construction and operations firm, with its joint venture partner Western Summit Constructors, have been the design-build team for the Buckman Direct Diversion (BDD) Project since March 2008. On Sept. 30, water was diverted from the Rio Grande for the first time and pumped 11 miles and 1100 vertical ft up to the Buckman Regional Water Treatment Plant (BRWTP) to begin filling the 8 million gal presedimentation basins to test the facilities.
“This is truly a historic event on our journey to provide the Santa Fe region with a sustainable source of water,” said Rebecca Wurzburger, chair of the BDD Project Board, Santa Fe mayor pro tem and Santa Fe city councilor. “Planning for this project started in 2001 during a period of severe drought. Construction started in October of 2008 and in a few short months, we will begin delivering quality drinking water to over 100,000 city and county water customers.”
The BDD Project diverts water from the Rio Grande northwest of Santa Fe, near the historic Buckman town site. The BRWTP is a 15-mgd advanced drinking water treatment facility that uses membrane filtration, ozonation and granular activated carbon contactors that will produce high quality drinking water at the new water treatment plant located near the Municipal Recreational Complex. The BDD includes a diversion structure on the Rio Grande, a sediment removal facility, two raw water booster stations, two treated water pump stations and 29 miles of raw and finished water pipelines. It is one of the largest, most complex non-federal infrastructure projects ever built in Santa Fe County.
Thorough testing and re-testing of the system has already begun and will continue until the city and county assume operations in the spring.
“Being able to watch Rio Grande water splash into the presedimentation basins takes the project from conceptual to reality,” said Virginia Vigil, vice-chair of the BDD Board and Santa Fe County commissioner. “The next reality will be turning on our taps to get a drink of water.”