February 24, 2016

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SDS Averts Pueblo West Water Emergency

The Southern Delivery System (SDS) is being tapped again to supply water to Pueblo West Metropolitan District’s 11,000 households and businesses.


A leak discovered in Pueblo West’s water line last week required the Pueblo West Metro District to seek permission from the Bureau of Reclamation to temporarily use SDS infrastructure to deliver water to their community. The leak is located on a segment of the pipe near the bank of the Arkansas River and could take months to repair. 


Pueblo West currently relies on a single pipe that is 24-inches in diameter and built in the 1980s to deliver water to its customers. SDS infrastructure includes a new 36-inch pipeline and another connection point to Pueblo Dam called the North Outlet Works. This is the second time SDS has been used to supply water to Pueblo West. Another leak occurred last July, but only took a matter of days to repair. 


Even though SDS has not operated commercially yet, the SDS partners have agreed that the temporary use of the project was essential to ensuring Pueblo West can serve its customers. The temporary use of the pipeline required cooperation and approval from Pueblo County, Pueblo West, Colorado Springs Utilities and the Bureau of Reclamation. Within hours of learning of the leak, the parties agreed to coordinate use of the system.


“We are again pleased we were able to assist our project partner, Pueblo West to continue uninterrupted water delivery to its customers,” said SDS Program Director John Fredell. “One of the great benefits of SDS for Pueblo West and the other project partners is the added reliability it brings to all our water systems.  It provides all of us another way to get water from Pueblo Dam to our communities and we are so pleased it benefitted Pueblo West during the emergency situations they have encountered over the past year."


The start-up of SDS this year will provide ongoing certainty of water supply for all the partners.  The discovery of contaminants in water sources near Security, Fountain and Widefield have underscored the regional benefits of SDS in providing another way to deliver water to the project partners, who paid a proportionate share to build the SDS project. The system is scheduled to begin operations this year.



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