The City of Brighton is embarking on its most ambitious water project to date to improve and expand its water treatment plant (WTP). Faced with the immediate challenge of meeting brine and sulfate discharge permit requirements, the City is also investing in improvements to increase reliability and capacity to support population and development growth. The City’s current water treatment plant is nearing the end of its lifespan at more than 25 years old and does not have enough capacity to meet the water needs of current residents. The new WTP will have a capacity of producing 20 million gallons of water per day (MGD) (a 10 MGD increase from the current WTP's capacity) for a lifespan of 25 years (through 2045). The cost of the project is approximately $155 million.
How does this impact customers? On June 14, 2022, City Council voted to pass a 9.1% increase in water rates to reestablish rates that were in place in 2019. The water rate reset is effective July 1, 2022. There will be a Water Treatment Plant fee (starting at $6 month for single family homes) to finance the non-growth related costs of the project. The WTP fee is effective January 1, 2023.
- City Council approves design of a new WTP, awarded to Brown & Caldwell: November 2021 - First reading of 1) Ordinance for Rate Reset and WTP Fee and 2) Ordinance for Water Assistance Program: May 17, 2022 - Final reading of 1) Ordinance for Rate Reset and WTP Fee and 2) Ordinance for Water Assistance Program: June 14, 2022 - Groundbreaking for WTP: July 26, 2022 - Grading/Earthwork: August 2022 - Foundation: December 2022 - Target completion date: December 31, 2025
The current WTP can produce 10 MGD, but there have been several times just in 2021 when the city exceeded this capacity. Simply put - we are using more water than we can produce. The max capacity is limited due to: 1) The quantity the WTP can treat 2) The 30-year-old infrastructure of the WTP 3) Discharge limits of brine by the CDPHE (Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment), which are set to expire in December 2024. 4) The cost of the project is approximately $155 million
The City of Brighton has reached out to our partners, like the City of Thornton, Westminster and Denver Water, to figure out innovative ways to get us additional water. Those options of buying water from those entities will get Brighton through the next three years. After that, we will solely rely on the city's new WTP.
Strategies and Water Conservation:
- Aggressive conversion of city parks and school district field to non-potable supply of water - Connection to new sources for non-potable supply - Temporary interconnect with South Adams Water and Sanitation to get an extra 500,000 gallons per day - Encourage and incentivize water conservation throughout the city - Implement voluntary watering restrictions early in the spring - Implement restrictions for irrigation and outdoor water use to help conserve water and reduce peak demand during the summer months