Aurora Prairie Waters Project Nears Completion

May 2010 Vol. 65 No. 5

The Prairie Waters Project is the fastest, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable way to enhance Aurora’s water supply. During 2003, the city had less than a nine-month supply of water due to a prolonged drought. To protect Aurora from future drought impacts, the Prairie Waters Project was developed to utilize existing return flows from its transbasin diversions and transferred agriculture rights.

The $754 million project should complete all construction phases on schedule in late 2010. It will deliver up to 3.3 billion gallons of water to Aurora residents and businesses.

North Campus
Multiple tunnel crossings under jurisdictional waterways were needed during construction. Construction activities were closely coordinated with environmental monitors as well as state and federal regulators to help protect sensitive wetland areas during these activities. All 17 riverbank wells are installed and undergoing performance testing. The 36-inch pipeline leading from the natural purification area to pump station one is complete.

Once operational, the North Campus will use natural purification for initial water treatment to naturally cleanse the city’s existing South Platte River resources.

All pumps have been delivered to each site. Each pump station holds one 600 and one 1,250 horse power pump. Crews continue electrical and mechanical installation, as well as work on architectural elements for each facility.

Advanced electronics and communication systems allow the facilities to operate from a central control facility miles away, thus requiring minimal staff at each pump station site.

Water purification
This facility is located just north of the Aurora Reservoir. The complex consists of 13 buildings. In January, crews installed bulbs and electrical components to the massive ultraviolet generators that makeup the advanced ultraviolet oxidation system. Workers continue installing electrical components throughout the facility, as well as preparing system startup checks.

More than 2.2 million cubic yards of dirt have been excavated for the facility. This is enough dirt to fill about eight oil barrels for every household in the Denver/Aurora metro area.

FOR MORE INFO:

Prairie Waters Project, 303-739-7477 www.prairiewaters.org.