Team of CO businesses breaks ground on $125M water treatment plant

A team of Colorado businesses broke ground on a new $125 million water treatment plant in El Paso County.

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COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, April 2, 2013 -- A team of Colorado businesses joined local officials to break ground on a new $125 million water treatment plant in El Paso County as part of the Southern Delivery System (SDS) water project. Construction of the new plant is providing significant work for area businesses that participated in a shovel ceremony to mark the start of construction on the single largest SDS component. The water treatment plant will treat up to 50 million gallons of water per day upon the project’s completion in 2016.

SDS is a regional project that will deliver water to Colorado Springs, Fountain, Security and Pueblo West. The nearly $1 billion project has been a significant economic stimulus to the local economy, creating jobs for local contractors and suppliers. The 30 Colorado companies building the water treatment plant bring the total number of companies working on SDS in the state to more than 200.

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"SDS is a win-win; we are providing jobs today for the water we need for tomorrow," said Colorado Springs Utilities CEO Jerry Forte.

Of the more than $317 million that has been spent on SDS planning and construction through 2012, nearly $264 million has stayed in Colorado, including $158 million in El Paso County and nearly $60 million in Pueblo County.

The water treatment plant prime contractor team consists of McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., MWH and Carollo Engineers. Of the $125 million to construct the plant, about $47 million will benefit businesses in Colorado.

• Approximately $28 million of that will go to El Paso County companies awarded work.
• Approximately $20 million of that will go to Denver-metro area companies awarded work.

The new facility will be Colorado Springs Utilities' seventh water treatment plant. The 82,000 square-foot plant is an advanced water treatment facility that will use ozone/biological filtration to treat water piped from Pueblo Reservoir. The 100-acre facility will also house a 10-million-gallon raw water storage tank, a 7-million-gallon treated water storage tank and a finished water pump station. The plant's capacity can be expanded to treat up to 130 million gallons of water per day based on future customer demand.

Through engineering and redesign, the team was able to reduce the plant's estimated construction cost by about 30 percent compared to the original estimate.

"We are tightly managing SDS contracting and construction to ensure the best value for our customers," said Forte. "SDS is currently estimating to come in $68 million under budget at project completion in 2016."

Colorado Springs Utilities is managing SDS planning and construction for the four project partners that include the communities of Fountain, Security and Pueblo West. For more information about the Southern Delivery System, visit www.SDSWater.org.

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