Dunes Reservoir Development News


 Fast Facts
 Reservoir is owned and operated by the Denver Water Board

 Denver Water website: www.denverwater.org

 Fill Date: April 2018 

 Denver Water Board Community Affairs: Joe Sloan 303-628-6320; joe.sloan@denverwater.org

 SACWSD Community Affairs: Pam Droesch 720-206-0560


The Denver Water Board

The Board of Water Commissioners (the “Board”) was created under the Charter of the City and County of Denver, Colorado (the “City”) as an independent, nonpolitical board. The Board has complete charge and control of a water works system and plant, which supplies water to customers located within the City of Denver and to entities serving other customers located in certain outlying areas. The Board has a five-member governing body, which is appointed by the Mayor of Denver for overlapping six-year terms. The Board is a legally separate and distinct entity from the City of Denver under the Charter of the City, and the City of Denver is not financially accountable for the Board.

Downstream Reservoir Water Storage Project

The Downstream Reservoir Water Storage Project, which has been in the works for a decade, allows Denver Water to store and release reusable water in its system through the use of old gravel pits that have been remodeled to store water.

There are three complexes in the project, which have an estimated total storage volume of 33,192 acre-feet of water. The reservoirs are all north of Denver, extending from Thornton past Brighton. The three water reservoir complexes are as follows:

  1. South Reservoir Complex – Consists of Cat and Miller reservoirs and is located adjacent to the South Platte River between Interstate Highways 270 and 76. These former gravel pits have been converted into two interconnected storage facilities that are filled from the South Platte River through the facilities of the Burlington Canal. This reservoir complex was filled and began operations in Spring 2009.
  3. North Reservoir Complex – Consists of the Hazeltine, Howe-Haller, Dunes and Tanabe reservoirs and is adjacent to the South Platte between 108th and 120th avenues. (See Exhibit 1) This reservoir complex will eventually capture reusable return flows through the facilities of the Fulton Ditch. Stored water will be returned to the Platt river by means of a pump station to be located in the expanded Hazeltine Reservoir and will be exchanged upstream. The Denver Water Board expects this reservoir complex to begin operations in 2016.
  5. Lupton Lakes Complex – Consists of reservoirs located north of Brighton. This complex is expected to begin operations in 2020.

The water flow between all three complexes will be connected through an underground network of pipes.  Currently, the South Reservoir Complex is connected to the underground pipe network.  The four reservoirs comprising the North Reservoir Complex (See Exhibit 1 below) are connected to the underground network as well.

Water Treatment Plant

South Adams County Water and Sanitation District ("SACWSD") owns the land in the northeast corner of the intersection of 112th Avenue and Brighton Road.  (The land on which the old red barn and horse shed is located.)  SACWSD plans to build a water treatment facility on this land that will siphon water off of the Dunes and Tanabe reservoirs and pump the treated water into SACWSD's drinking water system. the Tanabe reservoir in 2014.

Currently, nearly all of the water in the SACWSD potable water system is well water and, consequently, contains a high level of minerals (i.e. hard water).  One of the purposes for this water treatment facility is to mix "soft" surface water with the well water to reduce the hardness of the potable water SACWSD provides to its customers.

 Exhibit 1: North Reservoir Complex

Per SACWSD's long-term capital and operating plans, this water treatment facility is scheduled to be constructed and begin operation by the year 2026.  Consequently, this land will likely remain vacant for many years.

For anyone interested in seeing what the water treatment facility would look and sound like, a comparable water treatment facility was constructed in Westminster at the northeast corner of 104th Avenue and Wadsworth Parkway.

Status of Well Pump Station on the North East Corner of the Dunes Park Property

Per discussion with SACWSD in 2011, the SACWSD well located on the NE corner of the Dunes Park property (behind the gate in the perimeter fence at the east end of 113th Avenue) is not a great producer of ground water and, consequently, the well is currently not operational.  However, SACWSD has indicated it does not yet plan on abandoning and plugging the well.  SACWSD currently has three operating wells located on the east side of the train tracks by the River Run development between 112th Avenue and 120th Avenue.

 January/February 2012 Update
In January 2012, the construction of the Dunes Reservoir control tower was underway.  The construction crew completed boring the hole under Brighton Road and installing the inlet/outlet pipe that will be accessed and managed through the control tower sitting on top of it.  Interestingly, although the control tower will be about 2 to 3 stories tall, it will only appear as a flat cement surface even with the top of the reservoir embankment once the reservoir embankment is restored. 

Interestingly, because a significant amount of water naturally flows underground near the reservoir embankment, Denver Water had to pump the water into the reservoir during construction to keep the water from accumulating in the construction/excavation area.
  Tear-down of the reservoir embankment to install the control tower. 
 Boring operations on the west side of Brighton Road to install the inlet/outlet pipe for the Dunes Reservoir.   Construction begins on the control tower for the inlet/outlet pipe 
 The control tower is covered and heated to ensure the concrete properly dries during the February snow storm    Underground water is pumped out of the construction area and into the reservoir


 October 2011 Update
As of Monday August 22nd, the Denver Water Board began the construction project of laying the connector pipe between the Dunes Reservoir and the Hazeltine Reservoir (located at the southwest corner of 120th Avenue and Brighton Road). The construction manager indicated the construction project will take approximately 12 months to complete.

Currently, the construction crew is cutting down a section of the west embankment of the Dunes Reservoir to install the connector pipe. This project should be completed within a couple of months. In December, when the Fulton Ditch (canal) is scheduled to be dry for a few weeks, the crew will cut a trench underneath the canal and continue extending the pipe from the Dunes Reservoir embankment towards the Hazeltine Reservoir.

In early 2012, the crew will bore a hole underneath Brighton Road to further extend the connector pipe towards the Hazeltine Reservoir. Once the pipe has been extended underneath Brighton Road, the crew will dig a trench and finish laying the connector pipe from Brighton Road due west to the Hazeltine Reservoir. The pipe will not only connect the Dunes Reservoir to the Hazeltine Reservoir but it will also be connected into Denver Water's underground water main that connects all of Denver Water's reservoir complexes running north/south along the Platte River.

Delivery of the inlet pipes that will be used to connect the Dunes Reservoir to Hazeltine Reservoir

One of two graders used to tear down the west side of the Dunes Reservoir embankment to begin installation of the inlet pipe.