On March 19, 2015, the Southern Delivery System (“SDS”) announced the completion of the pipeline construction. Upon its completion, 50 miles of pipeline, made of up 7,000 50-foot sections, 66 inches in diameter, have been installed over the last 3.5 years in El Paso and Pueblo counties.
“The pipe is the main artery for this water project and we are extremely pleased with how the pipeline construction went,” said John Fredell, SDS Program Director. “This is our final year of construction after almost two decades of planning.”
The pipeline is only part of a greater water delivery project. The Southern Delivery System is a regional water delivery system that will provide a dependable way to transport water to Colorado Spring, Pueblo West, Security and Fountain. The demand for water will only grow in El Paso County and surrounding areas, for it is projected that the population will increase 1.9 percent each year through 2030, or approximately 350,000 more people. Along with meeting demands, the SDS also helps protect Colorado from drought and improves the existing water systems’ reliability.
Scheduled to complete construction in 2016, the SDS will be built in two phrases. Phase 1 consists of creating a connection to the north outlet works of Pueblo Dam, 60 miles of pipeline for raw water transportation, construction of three raw water pump stations (that have a 50 million gallon per day (MGD) capacity), treatment plants to purify 50 MGD of water, and connected pump stations and pipelines to transport treated water from the current distribution system to customers. Phase 2, which has a 2020-2025 projected construction timeline, consists of adding two reservoirs in order to expand raw water delivery capacity, as well as the expansion of the water treatment plant and pump station so that the peak capacity delivery will exceed 100 MGD of drinking water.
Through the SDS, Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas will have a backup water delivery system in case the current water system needs maintenance or temporarily fails. It provides assurance to the cities that water will be provided when needed since pipelines in the current system are close to a half-century old. The current pipeline, Homestake Pipeline, delivers 70 percent of Colorado Springs; water; however, although a well-designed system, the Homestake Pipeline has experienced outages over recent years.
In addition to providing security, the SDS provides water for the currently growing and future populations of El Paso County—currently the largest county in Colorado. It is expected to continuously grow in numbers. Lastly, the SDS creates reliable water for businesses and industries that require water for job maintenance and creation.
Concerns of focused growth have arisen around the Banning-Lewis Ranch. In 2011, Ultra Resources purchased a portion of the Banning-Lewis Ranch for oil and natural gas development, creating assumptions that community growth will occur significantly and/or exclusively at Banning-Lewis Ranch. However, SDS assures that the new water delivery system will provide for the entire community as a whole in the present and future.
Written by Stratecon Staff