February 1, 2018
New Water Reservoir
Water Infrastructure Upgrades Continue
For the past several years, the BMMD has informed Wildernest property owners of the need to upgrade aging water infrastructure. Our top priority is to meet customer demand and plan for population growth to ensure there will be an adequate supply of clean, reliable water decades into the future. To that end, the District is currently planning and engineering a new underground water reservoir and will continue with Phase II Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) project installation.
Limited undeveloped land exists within the Wildernest community. It has been a challenge to find a suitable site to build the new underground water reservoir within the necessary water distribution zone. Fortunately a vacant lot located at 701/702 Ryan Gulch Road has been acquired by the District for the new reservoir site. Although the site is surrounded by developed properties, like all the other District reservoirs, the project site will be well disguised by preserving the mountain scenery with restoration activities to include trees and landscaping. The District investigated two other potential reservoir sites which included Forest Service Land and Summit County Open Space, however these other sites were either too costly to build, did not meet required elevation standards, or Special Use Permits were not an option.
System improvements are needed to continue meeting peak water demands. A small aboveground pump station housed in a small building will also be constructed at the new tank site along with the related piping, electrical, instrumentation, grading and landscape improvements. The pump station will comply with District Architectural Guidelines and blend with the natural environment.
The District also continues with Phase II of the Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) project installations. This second underground PRV installation is a required infrastructure upgrade. The addition of PRV’s in each of the five pressure zones will provide for automatic (not manual) operation of water conveyance and provide for more reliable fire protection in the District. Last year, the District was awarded a $30,000 grant from the Summit County WildfireCouncil to help pay for the PRV project which directly impacts wildfire safety in the District.
The new reservoir project is estimated to cost between $2.5-$3 million dollars. Each PRV project cost an estimated $250,000. Funding for the project(s) will be obtained through the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment Drinking Water Revolving Fund which provides financial assistance at a very low interest rate to governmental agencies for the construction of water projects in Colorado. The water infrastructure upgrade project costs will in turn be paid by District customers through water/sewer service fees already factored into customers' bills as adjusted by small 3% annual increases.
Later this year, you should expect to see some preliminary construction and investigation work that will gather information needed for the design/build process. This will include soil and bedrock sampling, infrastructure inspections and other analyses.
The District will be conducting a comprehensive environmental review and will hold a public meeting this summer to share project details. The meeting will share environmental impacts as well as information on what's to be expected during construction starting in 2019 with regard to traffic, noise and construction methods. Residents will be given meeting dates once scheduled and will be published in the Summit Daily News and posted on the website at www.colorado.gov/bmmd.
BMMD staff and Board of Directors continue long-term strategic and financial planning and will budget for infrastructure improvements every year for the next 20 years.
June 1, 2017
Long term utility planning combines financial forecasting with asset management. It is a process that evaluates existing system conditions, establishes asset management, maintenance demands, and infrastructure repair and replacement needs. It is a highly important process that considers future scenarios and helps utilities navigate aging infrastructure challenges. BMMD’s long range plan identifies priorities and time frames for implementing capital projects and provides a financing plan for those projects. BMMD has identified the need to update numerous aging infrastructure projects some of which are identified below, and is currently seeking sources
of funding to finance costs associated with those required updates. BMMD is committed to providing Wildernest customers with quality service and value, and these
upgrades is just one of the many ways we plan to continue fulfilling that promise. It is important to BMMD to maintain the critical balance between financial stability, reliable operations, and delivering services to customers at the best value.
Wildernest population fluctuates anywhere between 5,000 up to 10,000+ people depending on the season and the amount of short-term renters, vacationers, and full-time residents. BMMD is planning to build a new water tank to improve water infrastructure by helping increase water supply reliability during high usage events and provide additional water capacity for fire protection. This multi-year, multi-phase project includes significant planning to locate an eligible site for a new underground water tank. Wildernest is 96% built-out and very little land is available to build a new tank. BMMD is currently looking at a suitable site that meets the required elevation requirements and proximity to existing District water pipelines. BMMD is also planning to rehabilitate two existing steel water tanks. Re-coating water tanks is an extensive process. The tanks must be taken out of service while the rehabilitation takes place. In order to take the existing reservoirs off-line, BMMD must first construct the new water tank in order to supply uninterrupted water to Wildernest customers during the time the two existing steel tanks are out of service.
Pressure Reducing Valves (PRV) Project
The current water distribution system is equipped with manual butterfly valves in each of five pressure zones in the District. During a structure fire or wildfire event, if water must be conveyed between zones to supplement lost water, the District water operator must manually operate the butterfly valves. Water conveyance should not require manual operation. The addition of Pressure PRV’s, in each of the five pressure zones will provide for automatic (not manual) operation of water
conveyance and provide for more reliable fire protection in the District. BMMD is installing the first PRV this summer. This is also a multi-year, multi-phase project.
Replacing Old Fire Hydrants & Valves
To safeguard the public by ensuring fire hydrants are accessible and fully functioning, BMMD is conducting a fire hydrant and valve replacement program. This program replaces old fire hydrants and valves with new, long lasting equipment which offers enhanced flow rates to improve fire-fighting capability. This vital work is needed to ensure that emergency services personnel have easy access to hydrants with sufficient water pressure and flow rates to fight a fire.
BMMD regularly monitor’s the sewage collection system by conducting bi-annual camera and cleaning of the sewer main system and repairs problems to wastewater infrastructure caused by water infiltration of spring run-off, freezing temperatures, and deteriorating pipes. We continue to ensure that our wastewater systems are operating safe and efficiently.
Typically, a water tank is sized to hold approximately one day’s worth of water for the community served by the tank. Should there be a power failure longer than one day, there will not be sufficient water capacity to meet customer demands without the ability to pump water which requires power. A portable generator will improve water supply reliability and enhance firefighting capabilities during emergencies by providing backup power in the event of a power outage.
Geographic information systems (GIS), mapping programs track infrastructure assets such as water, wastewater, valves, service lines, curb valves, manholes, and more. Without the IT resources to create maps of underground pipelines and other linear assets, utilities can have a tough time locating them. A GIS serves as a web map with layers corresponding to various systems that can be updated and shared in real-time with workers in the field, thereby reducing redundancy and saving
valuable time locating infrastructure that may be buried under the snow, or not easily located. BMMD will begin locating infrastructure assets this summer and digitally mapping the entire system over the next three years.
Telemetry Communications Upgrade
Utilities use telemetry monitoring to keep track of unmanned assets such as pumping stations, water tank levels, and water treatment activities which is mandatory to manage the water distribution network. BMMD is upgrading 20 year old radios and dated hardware/software to make the system more efficient.