With the exception of a little bit of cleanup work, the upper Lamborn Mesa Water Treatment Plant Improvements Project is complete and the plant is online. At a March 25 special meeting, the Paonia Board of Trustees unanimously passed a resolution accepting completion of the facility, and approving final payments to contractors.
Putting the 2 million-gallon facility online brings the town's water system into compliance with federal Environmental Protection Agency regulations. The town was first notified it was in violation of the federal Clean Water Act in May 2012 after the state Department of Health and Environment reclassified the town's main source on German Creek, from ground water to groundwater under the direct influence of surface water.
Getting the facility online will also get the town out from under a state drinking water enforcement order requiring regular tier-two notification of water quality to all of its water customers and submission of quarterly progress reports of the projects to the state.
To finish out the enforcement order, said town manager Jane Berry, one more notification letter will be mailed. Per an agreement with the CDPHE, the town will complete its annual Consumer Confidence Report, due July 1, two months early. The report will include tier-two notification language since the project ran over into 2016.
Total cost of the project is $1,651,719.78. The filtration system was manufactured by Filter Tech. General contractor Alpine CM was awarded the contract May 26, 2015, and began work June 15, 2015.
"We had some bumps in the road and a few delays," said Berry. Since the majority of the project was federally funded, the town and contractors had to comply with federal guidelines including Davis Bacon Act minimum wage guidelines and American Iron and Steel Act provisions requiring that all components be made in America.
Trustee Ross King, who serves on the town finance committee, thanked town staff, Berry and public works director Travis Loberg for their oversight and efforts to get the plant on line. "Thank you for a job well done."
"I'll second that," said trustee David Bradford, who serves on the public works committee.
Bradford visited the plant last Thursday. After discussing some minor concerns with town engineers at WestWater Engineering and with Berry and Loberg, he said he made his vote with confidence. "I am satisfied that the resolution is appropriate," said Bradford.
Work on the lower 1 million-gallon Clock water treatment plant, which hit a snag last spring when ground water damaged the storage tank, floor, is winding down and expected to be completed within a few days, said Berry.