Our District is a Colorado Special District, located in the northeastern portion of Grand County, Colorado, immediately west of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The area is within a two and one-half hour drive from Denver. The “Three Lakes” (Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain Lake and Lake Granby) situated in the mountain-bordered basin of the north fork of the Colorado River are the major attractions of the area. Grand Lake is a natural lake formed by glacial snow-melt, while the other two lakes were created by the Colorado Big Thompson water diversion project built by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in the late 1940's. The northeast border of the Three Lakes region is formed by Rocky Mountain National Park. The area immediately surrounding the Three Lakes is designated the Shadow Mountain National Recreational Area, which is managed for recreational purposes by the National Park Service.
The actual boundaries of the District contain 59.25 square miles more or less, including water surface areas. Recognizing the tremendous value of this area to the State of Colorado and the nation, and further recognizing the appeal of the area to vacationers, recreationists, developers of tourist facilities and builders of seasonal homes, the General Assembly of the State of Colorado, in 1971, passed Senate Bill No. 317, the "Three Lakes Water and Sanitation District Act". In May 1977 Article 10 was amended to subject the District to the provisions of the "Special District Act", Article 1, in order to simplify the governance of the District. The District's Master Plan was approved by the Grand County Board of County Commissioners on March 5, 1973 to design, build, operate and maintain a regional system consisting of sewage collection, transmission and treatment.
In 1982 the District completed construction of a 1.3 MGD lagoon treatment system through a grant obtained from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, as well as its own funds. Added to this system were the sanitation systems acquired from Grand Lake Water & Sanitation District and Columbine Lake Water & Sanitation District, which would continue to service those areas respectively.
Facing more stringent discharge limits and the lagoon treatment system approaching its design capacity, in May 2000 voters within the District approved a debt increase of $6.5 million for the purpose of building a new wastewater treatment plant. On January 2, 2001 the Grand County Board of County Commissioners approved an Amended 1041 Permit, for a 2.0 MGD sequencing batch reactor (SBR) activated sludge wastewater treatment plant. The new plant began operation in March 2003.
Many sewer main extensions have taken place since original construction and the District presently has approximately 115 lift stations it maintains, including three major “Regional” lift stations. In 2007-2008 one of three of the original Regional Lift Stations, the Grand Lake Lift Station, was replaced at just over a million dollars in cost. All of this cost was paid with District monies. In 2014 the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority authorized a $2,000,000 loan and, together with a grant of $1,000,000 from the Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Program, the District was able to renovate the two remaining Regional Lift Stations, Shadow Mountain Lift Station and Stillwater Lift Station - a major benefit to the overall health and safety of the employees and residents as well as visitors of the District. Two Development Lift Stations are planned to be replaced in 2017 at a cost of over $1,450,000.00. Rehabilitation work on sewer mains and lift stations will continue to be a focus far into the future, as the aging of District infrastructure demands it.
The Three Lakes Water and Sanitation District furnishes a sanitary sewer service to its customers within the boundaries of the District. The District is presently servicing 3,008 residential and 141 commercial properties.
The District does not provide a water service, although it has entered into an intergovernmental agreement with Columbine Lake Water District, North Shore Water District, and Grand Lake Metropolitan Recreation District for operation, maintenance, and administration of their water facilities.