Triview Metropolitan District Questions and Answers
QUESTION: Who is Triview Metro District accountable to?
The residents of our district.
QUESTION: What kind of district is Triview Metro District?
A Metropolitan District, Title 32 organization.
QUESTION: What services does Triview Metro District provide?
The Triview Metro District provides water, sewer, drainage and maintains area roads, sidewalks and open spaces.
QUESTION: What services does the city of Monument provide that Triview Metro District does not and vice versa?
Monument is a town not a special district. The city of monument provides land use planning for the district, police, and general governance.
QUESTION: How does Triview Metro District compare to other districts in El Paso and the State?
Triview Metro District is among the larger districts in Colorado. As a metropolitan district, Triview Metro District handles many more services than other types of special districts. Special districts include: fire protection districts, library districts, parks & recreation districts, water & sanitation districts.
QUESTION: Why does there appear to be so many Special District Associations in the northern El Paso County?
Originally, special districts were set up by the state to help provide services to residents when there were very few towns or counties that were large and could not be as responsive. Colorado contnues to expand the number of special districts throughout the state providing various services to its residents.
QUESTION: Why can't Monument area Special District Associations merge to make one municipality?
Special Districts can consolidate allowing two or more special districts to form one entity. The process generally is as follows:
- The action is initiated by a consolidation resolution, which must state that the inhabitants of the special district initiating the consolidation will be better served by the consolidation of such districts or services.
- A Court must review the consolidation resolution and if it finds consolidation to be appropriate set a date for an election.
- Electors must approve the consolidation.
- If the debt of a special district is to be assumes by the consolidated district, voters to accomplish that must approve a separate election question.
QUESTION: What is the process for Special District Associations to merge if it were to happen?
State statute (C.R.S. 32-1-601 et seq.) governs how a Special District Associations will merge to become one larger entity.
There is also a separate but similar provision in state statute (C.R.S. 32-1-701 et seq.) for the dissolution of a district. Typically dissolution would occur if the services provided by the district are no longer needed or if the services will be provided by another entity, usually a municipality that has at least 85% of the area of the special district in its boundaries.
The process is similar to that of a consolidation except the district ceases to exist in any for EXCEPT that if there is outstanding debt the district must continue in existence to the extent necessary to service the debt. That then could be the only function performed by the District with all other services provided by another entity.
QUESTION: What water rights does TMD have and for how long?
Triview's current water supply consists of water rights to the groundwater in aquifers underlying the District, and a nearby property, in the aquifer formations known as the "Denver Basin."
Triview produces water from multiple wells to the Denver and Arapahoe aquifers of the Denver Basin, and treats that water at two treatment plants for distribution throughout the District. The quantity of Denver Basin groundwater rights currently owned and controlled by the District and available for the Districts' use is well in excess of the demand of all current residents, as well as those developments currently planned. Additional infrastructure (wells/treatment/storage) is all that is necessary to access these vested legal rights as the District's demand increases. As well evidenced by recent infrastructure failures, however, additional wells and storage are necessary to allow for redundancy and emergency supply, and a second storage tank is currently under construction.
The Division 2 Water Court in Pueblo, Colorado grants Water Rights to the Denver Basin aquifers, and the plans for augmentation, which allow for their use, on the basis of a 100-year aquifer life, as required by Colorado statutes. Computer groundwater models utilized by the State of Colorado have determined, at the time of the water Court proceeding quantifying and making water available to the District, that we have a 100-year water supply from these underground aquifers and our decrees limit our amount of annual pumping to try and ensure that lifespan. As with all "models". and particularly concerning geology where underground conditions cannot truly be observed, this is an estimate-some people (based on aquifer levels in other parts of the Denver Basin) believe 40-50 years to be a better estimate of this water resource's lifetime, others believe longer. Regardless, it is a finite resource that is not materially recharged through annual precipitation, and will one day run out.
QUESTION: When will Triview Metro District's available water supply run out?
Triview's decreed water rights, and annual pumping limitations thereon, are designed to ensure that the Denver Basin aquifers which constitute the District's current water source will last for 100 years from when pumping commenced (i.e. late 1980's, early 1990's).
Triview anticipates its Denver Basin water resources to at a minimum last for several decades, though as aquifer levels drop and well yields decrease, it will take more and more infrastructure to extract the same quantities of water, leading to diminishing returns.
Triview continues to work and plan for the future, identifying potential renewable water supplies and methods for funding the acquisition and delivery of the same to District customers.
QUESTION: What other sources of water is available to the Triview Metro District?
In addition to the Denver Basin groundwater underlying those properties included within the District's service area, Triview acquired in 2014 additional Denver basin groundwater underlying the residential development northeast of the District known as "Bent Tree." This Denver Basin supply, often referenced as the "Northgate water" due to the entity who obtained decrees for its use and from whom Triview acquired the water, is of a "non tributary nature", meaning it may be used an re-used, unlike the "not-non tributary" supplies that primarily underlie the District. As such, the District intends to utilize this water resource primarily as a mechanism to utilize greater quantities of the non tributary water underlying the District and available through existing District water infrastructure, and has recently completed an augmentation plan to do so, though the District likewise has sufficient easements and interests in land to actually construct infrastructure within Bent Tree for delivery of water to the District, should the District deem appropriate.
The District also has water rights in the form of "appropriative right of exchange" on Monument Creek. These water rights allow the District, once appropriate infrastructure is constructed in the form of alluvial wells, treatment and pipelines, to pump from alluvium near Monument Creek a portion of the water which is released to Monument Creek as treated sewered effluent at the wastewater treatment facility Triview shares with Donala Water and Sanitation District, and the Forest Lakes Metropolitan District. Stated another way, when the District pumps 100 gallons of water from its wells, roughly 85 gallons of that water is not consumed by drinking sanitation, irrigation or commercial uses within the District, and therefore a portion of that unused water, which is reusable thanks to decreed plans for augmentation which the District has obtained, is reusable within the District IF we can capture those return flows and put them back to use - currently the District lacks the infrastructure to make reuse of these flows and instead sells the water to other water users on the Arkansas River downstream. The District's rights of exchange will allow the District to instead re-use this water within the District, and thereby reduce new pumping from the Denver Basin in a like amount, once appropriate wells, treatment, and distribution infrastructure is completed.
The District has a similar decree to allow re-use of return flows resulting from irrigation of turf grass within the District - "Lawn Irrigation return Flows", or "LIRFs". Such water right requires similar well, treatment and distribution infrastructure as the exchanges discussed above, and is similar in its nature. When the District applies augmented Denver Basin water to irrigation within the district, a portion thereof - roughly 15% - accrues to Monument Creek rather than being consumed by the irrigated plants, and such return flows are similarly re-usable, and again will reduce the amount of pumping from the Denver Basin aquifers by a like amount once such re-use infrastructure is in place.
Finally,while not a "water right", the District continues to work in partnership with other local municipalities and special districts through membership in the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority ("PPRWA") to identify projects which would supplement the water supplies of the District, and its neighbors, through renewable supplies. Such PPRWA projects may involve pipelines, storage facilities and the like which no individual participant could individually fund, but which if shared could provide shared benefits. The District will continue its participation in those project studies it believes viable, and continue to search for viable renewable water supplies to utilize within such PPRWA projects.
QUESTION: How many leaks are there currently within the Triview Metro District?
Any unidentified water loss is a concern but all water systems do experience some minimal water loss. This loss can originate from an undiscovered leak, inaccuracies in the metering equipment or possible theft.
Water loss within the Triview system is below industry standards. While the average system loss is 15% to 20%, Triview experiences a water loss of about 11% per month. The majority of this loss is traces to small leaks within the system.Unfortunately, there are rare anomalies such as the one experienced during June and July 2016 when the district experienced a dramatic loss of 60%.
Triview tracks water loss monthly to ensure that large anomalies in the system - which could indicate a large problem - are found and addressed quickly.
QUESTION: How does the Triview Metro District address and repair a leak once it has been discovered?
Any unexplained water loss is a concern and is addressed by Triview's experienced trouble-shooters. Once identified, a team is dispatched to the site of he suspected loss to inspect the area and assess the extent of possible damage.
Triview is committed to repairing leaks as quickly as possible with minimal water loss and the least amount of damage to private and public property. In rare instances, contractors might be needed to address larger problems and their availability may extend repair times. Due to State and Federal regulations, some repairs maybe delayed if water loss is discovered on private or protected lands. In these rare cases, Triview works closely with the Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Wildlife and elected officials to expedite all repairs and restore regular service.
QUESTION: Why wasn't customer's e-mail warning of a possible leak at Beaver Pond not addressed immediately by Triview Metro District's staff?
The Triview Metro District depends on our customers to be addition trouble spotters. Early reports of water leaks by members of the community have been of great value to our overall success. Working together, the district is able to save water and cost to customers.
Unfortunately, the July 7th e-mail that might have alerted staff more quickly was received outside of normal business hours and wasn't addressed until July 9th.
While rare, the district recognizes that some emergency communications need to be handled in an expedited manner. Staff is currently reviewing new procedures to insure customer concerns are addressed in a timelier manner.
QUESTION: Who is responsible for the wildlife and the residual construction material at the Beaver Pond repair site?
The area surrounding the site of the recent line failure is a protected habitat and is governed by stringent state and federal regulation. The Triview Metro District not only follows these guidelines but also understands its responsibility to insure these protected spaces remain pristine and undamaged.
Before Triview was unable to conduct any repairs to equipment on protected land, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Wildlife was required to review extensive repair plans and issue several permits. With the assistance of state lawmakers, Triview was able to expedite the permit process.
Once given the green light, crews expected to complete repairs within five days with a minimal impact to protect wildlife and vegetation. As outlined in the submitted repair plan, Triview teams also are required to re-vegetate the area and restore it as closely as possible to its prior level.
QUESTION: Following the event surrounding the recent leak at the Beaver Pond site, what has Triview Metro District learned to better serve its customers in the future?
The Triview Metro District is researching ways to improve our communications with the district and is considering a consultant to help us with communications. It is vital that the district is able to inform and receive crucial information when an event will effect customer service.
The Triview Metro District board is also trying to better understand how Triview may react more quickly locate water losses and address a leak that exists in our system.
QUESTION: Who will conduct an after-action investigation and report?
The Triview Metro District board is now considering an outside investigation agency and will update the community on the direction which this investigation will take.
All reports and related data that the district generates is available to the public.
QUESTION: Who will be ultimately responsible for the costs associated with the recent line failure at the Beaver Pond site?
Triview Metropolitan District.
QUESTION: Following the recent leak at the Beaver Pond site, what insurance claims will the Triview Metro District board file?
Triview has both property and liability insurance that may cover a portion of the damage to the property owner's land. The board is currently reviewing the district's policy.