To protect the water supply of Colorado’s Pueblo and El Paso counties, the Southern Delivery System Program is working to provide water to communities in the area. When complete, the two-phase project will deliver Arkansas River water stored in the Pueblo Reservoir to the partner communities of Colorado Springs, Colo.; the city of Fountain, Colo.; Security Water District; and Pueblo West Metropolitan District.
In addition to providing a redundant method of water delivery for Colorado Springs’ western slope water supply, it also maximizes the investment of the existing water infrastructure and offers future drought protection.
Phase 1 of the project included construction and installation of a reservoir connection at the North Outlet Works of Pueblo Dam, 50 miles of 66-in.-diameter underground pipeline, three pump stations, a 50-million-gal-per-day water treatment plant and a finished-water pump station.
Phase 2 will see the construction of two additional reservoirs and other system improvements.
The geography of the region has presented a number of challenges throughout construction. The South Pipeline 1 section of the system faced steep elevation; the pipeline had to travel under an active railroad line, then upward through a 90-ft-high bluff on the side of the railroad. Additionally, the variability of geological conditions of the Greenhorn Limestone formation also made construction difficult. A trenchless crossing was constructed, consisting of a 308-ft-long, 10-ft-diameter tunnel, dug at a slight angle into the bluff, connected to a 90-ft vertical riser shaft.
Construction of South Pipeline 2 required relocation of residents in the area. Six homes were purchased and the owners relocated, and five homes were removed. The Southern Delivery System team sent outreach information to more than 1,000 homeowners and employed two facilitators to assist property owners with concerns
“I’m proud of the value we are bringing to our rate payers. In 2016, we will turn on a water delivery system that will ensure our community has water for decades,” said John Fredell, program director for the Southern Delivery System. “We’ve also faced complex technical challenges and innovated to meet those challenges, saving more than $147 million in the process.”