Crossing Paths and Making the Grade

November 2012

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Pipe Paths Successfully Crossed for SDS

A Southern Delivery System (SDS) construction team recently successfully placed pipe for this critical new water system under an existing water pipeline.

Crews with Pueblo County-based pipeline contractor HCP Constructors navigated the important and challenging task of installing 66-inch-diameter raw-water pipeline for SDS under the existing 42-inch-diameter Fountain Valley Authority (FVA) pipeline. Both pipelines originate from Pueblo Dam. The FVA pipeline, owned by the Bureau of Reclamation, transports water to Fountain, Security, Widefield, Colorado Springs and Stratmoor Hills.

For the majority of the pipeline, SDS runs adjacent to the FVA alignment. However, the pipes’ paths cross at Lake Pueblo State Park in an area about 1 mile northeast of the dam.

Special engineering and design considerations were given to ensure no impacts to the FVA during the placement of SDS pipe, which was installed at least two feet below the concrete FVA pipe. The design and construction passed inspection by the Bureau of Reclamation.

This work is being completed as part of the South Pipeline 1 SDS work package – a 4.3-mile section from Juniper Pump Station heading north almost to Highway 50. The team also successfully tunneled under the Union Pacific Railroad as part of installing this section of pipeline.

To date, approximately 28 of the more than 50 miles of underground pipeline has been installed for SDS.

SDS Helps Earn Colorado Springs Utilities an “A” Grade

The Southern Delivery System (SDS) project was one of key reasons the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave Colorado Springs Utilities an “A” grade for water system capacity. The newly published report, 2012 Infrastructure Score Card, notes, “Colorado Springs Utilities has demonstrated that they have a long-term plan identified and in place to meet future (water) demands.”

SDS is being built at just the right time. The report points out that water system failures are caused by age of the system, corrosion, and natural causes such as flooding, lightning and freezing. 

“Once the SDS is in service, which is planned for completion in 2016, Colorado Springs Utilities will significantly increase its redundancy,” according to the report.  Read the full report.

ASCE Southern Colorado Branch developed the Report Card to “help citizens understand the complexity and magnitude of our infrastructure systems and to alert them to the challenges…”

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