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Yes. We will be installing 42-inch welded steel pipe.
The pipeline will be buried, but you might see access hatches, manhole lids, and vent pipes. There will be a number of discharge structures located along the pipeline for pipeline draining. Pipeline markers and test stations for corrosion protection will be above ground.
Thornton acquired shares in the Water Supply and Storage Company in the mid-1980s, filed water rights cases in 1986 and 1987, and had the initial Water Court trial in the early 1990s. A final Water Court decree was entered in 1998. The water comes from the Cache la Poudre River and is diverted northwest of Fort Collins into reservoirs owned by the Water Supply and Storage Company.
To view the decree, open the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Judgement and Decree on Remand.
Thornton’s intent is that eminent domain would be used only as a last resort. While the State Constitution gives all home-rule governments in Colorado the authority to exercise eminent domain to acquire property, Thornton’s intention is to work with any landowner where an easement or access may be necessary for the water pipeline route.
No; access to properties along public streets and roads will be maintained during construction. The access might not be at the same location currently used, but access will be maintained and restored to its original location as quickly as possible.
If an easement on private property is required, the property owner would be fairly compensated for the value of the easement, the property would be restored and landscaped to its pre-construction condition, or the property owner could receive additional compensation if the property couldn’t be fully restored to pre-construction conditions.
We want to continue to be a good community neighbor and collaborate with stakeholders early in the process. In addition, it takes many years to perform the necessary studies and designs, acquire the necessary approvals and easements, and construct a 70-mile-long pipeline.
Legally, our water rights can only be used to supply our water customers. However, we are open to partnering with other communities in northern Colorado to share infrastructure.
Thornton has one of the lowest per-person water usage rates in the state, and will continue to be a leader in water conservation, but conservation alone isn’t sufficient to meet the city’s ongoing and future water supply needs.
We estimate that over 600 permits or approvals will be needed. We have initiated the land use permit processes in Weld and Larimer Counties, and have contacted the cities, towns and districts along the proposed pipeline route to understand their permitting requirements and processes. We plan to meet or exceed all permit requirements for the Project. We have consulted with the Army Corps of Engineers regarding Project construction, and will continue to do so as the Project progresses.
Most of the locations for the pipeline have been determined; to view the proposed pipeline alignment, view the Thornton Water Project Location Map.
Yes, the pipeline will be buried with some appurtenances and access points above ground.
Thornton’s target is to deliver this additional water supply to water customers in 2025. Project design is well underway in many areas of Weld County. Thornton has easements acquired through most of Weld County, and construction is anticipated to commence in Weld County in 2023. Thornton has already installed 7 miles of pipeline in the towns of Windsor and Johnstown. Design work and acquisition of needed easements are currently underway for the portions of the project in Adams County and Thornton.
The Thornton Water Project is a pipeline through Adams, Larimer and Weld Counties that will bring water purchased in the 1980s to Thornton customers.