Granby plans $6 million water treatment plant
Water is the lifeblood of the West. Without it nothing grows, even communities.
To that end the Town of Granby is planning to construct a multi-million dollar Water Treatment Plant. Construction is set to begin next year.
At their last meeting in July, the Granby Board of Trustees approved submission of a grant application to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) for a $2 million grant. The Town of Granby hopes to use the grant money from DOLA to construct a new water treatment plant for the Granby South Service Area, which includes all of Granby proper south of the Fraser River, the Granby Ranch area and the SilverCreek Water and Sanitation District.
Water for those portions of Granby is currently supplied by a series of wells just south of the Fraser River in the open space between Middle Park Medical Center Granby and the Fraser River. There are a total of four wells permitted through the state for the Town of Granby south of the Fraser River. One of the four wells was previously inoperable, leaving three wells to supply the South Service Area.
One of the three operational wells was found to be contaminated by surface water, forcing its disconnection from the system. Granby Town Manager Wally Baird explained the Town felt it was likely one or both of the two remaining wells would became contaminated by surface water at some point in the future and it was a prudent long-term financial decision to construct the water treatment plant.
“We could dig another well,” Baird said. “That would last a little while, but we would likely find the same thing. We came to the conclusion, for the long-term, to build a treatment facility. Then we don’t have to worry about it for many years.”
The proposed water treatment plant will cost approximately $6 million-dollars total. As part of their grant application to DOLA, the Town of Granby will provide a $1 million match and the SilverCreek Water and Sanitation District will also put in $1 million. That leaves approximately two-million-dollars outstanding for the total cost of the project. Baird explained the Town plans to borrow approximately $2 million to complete the project.
According to Baird, Granby has been considering constructing the new treatment plant for two years. The application to DOLA was officially submitted on July 31. Baird said the DOLA grant committee will meet in October to consider their request. He said if the Town is not awarded the grant from DOLA, officials still plan on constructing the plant, which would require the Town borrow additional funds; but the construction of the plant is not contingent upon receiving the grant from DOLA.
Granby hopes to have the project ready for bidding in February 2016 with construction starting in May. Baird said the project will take all of the 2016 construction season and would likely finish sometime in early 2017. The construction plans for the plant are currently 70-80 percent completed Baird said.
The water treatment plant will utilize a totally enclosed semi-permeable membrane system to filter the water going to South Service Area residents. Baird described the process as similar to the reverse-osmosis systems people keep in their homes for drinking water. The plant will also include discharge ponds for flushing the system. Baird pointed out there will be no discharging of the system into local streams or watersheds.
Once plant construction is complete, the new facility will initially have capacity to produce approximately 500,000 gallons of water a day. Doug Bellatty, superintendent of the South Service Area for Granby, explained the 500,000 gallons was a conservative figure and the system could produce much more if needed and will be constructed with the capacity to expand by installing additional membranes. Bellatty explained the water production at the facility would be based on demand.
“This is a necessity for the viability of the community,” Bellatty said. “It takes into consideration the hopes of developers while securing safe drinking water for the community.”
Residents of the Granby South Service Area can expect their water rates to go up because of the project.
“Water rates will be going up for everyone south of the river,” said Baird. “That is the biggest reason we want to try and get a grant; to keep the water rates as low as possible.”
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The Granby Chamber of Commerce will be changing its name to Destination Granby on May 5.