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March 2016

What’s Up?  Baca Grande Water & Sanitation District Update
BGWSD Awarded Large Grant for Aspen Wastewater Plant Improvements

By Cindy Reinhardt, President, BGWSD Board of Directors
The Baca Water & Sanitation District (BGWSD) has been awarded a Small Communities Grant in the amount of $426,150 for its Flow Equalization Basin Project at the Aspen Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Implementation of the overall project was initiated with a funding application to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment – Small Communities Water and Wastewater Grant on November 16, 2015.  The grant is one of 32 small community water and wastewater systems awarded grant monies by CDPHE. These grants range in size from $15,000 to $850,000 so the District’s is one of the larger grants awarded.
The project includes the construction of a new headworks (HW) building and a flow equalization basin (FEB) immediately south of the existing WWTP.  The proposed headworks will include a mechanical screen, a grit removal unit, and a by-pass channel with a manual screen.  The proposed equalization basin will have an effective capacity of approximately 20,000 gallons and be constructed with three submersible pumps and yard piping to convey sewage through the existing influent flow meter and into the sequencing batch reactor (SBR) anaerobic tankage.  Construction of the improvements will remove the coarse solids and inert materials from the incoming wastewater and will dampen the effects of peak hourly flows to the WWTP by preventing the SBR from operating in a short cycle setting.
According to Justin DeBon, District Operations Manager, this project is important to the operators because of the mechanical screen and grit removal. Currently there is no way to mechanically remove the trash and debris that makes its way into the system.  The material gets pumped into the treatment plant, and every six months needs to be removed.  This is done by hand by raking and shoveling the trash and debris into our Vactor vacuum truck. “It is a very dirty and hazardous job that will not be missed, and it will free our operations team to undertake other important repair and preventive maintenance projects.”


DeBon cited other benefits of the project. “With so many manholes and mostly dirt roads in the Baca, we get a lot of sand and gravel in our sewer mains. When the sand is pumped into and through the treatment plant it creates extra wear and tear on the pumps and the sand eventually settles at the bottom of the treatment plant basins and lowers the overall capacity of the plant.”

Board President Cindy Reinhardt cited the availability of bond funds to fund a portion of the project and the team effort of District staff in coordination with District Engineer Brad Simons of TZA Water Engineers and District Manager Lisa Johnson of SDMS in the success of this application.  “The knowledge of our operations team about local needs coupled with our consultants’ awareness of various grant programs and their ability to successfully navigate the grant application process is a huge benefit for the District,” she said.  “The District will continue to aggressively seek funding for the many improvements that our water and sanitary sewer systems need.”
According to Engineer Simons, planning, design and permitting of the improvements will occur in 2016.  Bidding and construction will occur in 2017.
In Other District News …

In reviewing last year's accomplishments, the District’s operations team reports that as a result of increased leak detection and leak repair operations, the District:

  • reduced water production by 30%
  • reduced energy consumption by 34%
  • saved 25,375,000 gallons of water

As the Eagle goes to press, the deadline for filing to run for one of three available Board of Directors positions is passed.  And, as of this writing, four candidates have submitted their applications. Stay tuned to your April Eagle for an update and details on the election process.