A Short History of the Pine Brook Water District
The District was first voted into existence in 1963 and the first water mains and water tanks were installed in 1964. At that time, there were maybe 30 homes. The District pumped all of its water from deep wells.
By the late 1970’s the District knew that it had to have additional water to supply the area not only because the wells could not produce an adequate supply for the homes under normal circumstances, but also because of the droughts, the amount of water that could be produced from the deep wells was less. The resident’s usages were below the national average and the water rates were designed to promote wise water use.
To this day, the community’s average use is below the national average and conserving water or wise use of water is still a normal habit. The water rates have continued to be set to promote this attitude.
Around 1980 the District purchased surface water rights outside of the District, which it then treated and pumped into the District to serve the residents. The District still also used the water from the deep wells to supplement this new supply. This system seemed to be adequate even during nominal droughts.
2002 brought the worst drought the area had seen in anyone’s memory and the District’s surface water supply dried up for 63 days straight, The deep wells were also affected by this drought with their production rates dropping off daily and some of the wells actually having to be shut down because they could no longer produce water.
And so the idea to build our own reservoir was born. The District had an adequate amount of surface water rights available to it, just no place to store them. The District had studied many alternatives over its history trying to find an adequate solution for its water supply problems.
The District presented the information to the residents and in May of 2004 held an election for the residents to approve the funding of the project (and therefore the project itself). Approximately 75% of the eligible voters voted and passed the measure by a 3 to 1 margin.
The District then obtained the necessary permits from the Boulder County Commissioners and the State of Colorado. Design began January of 2005 and construction commenced in July of 2005. By June of 2006 the District was able to shut the outlet valve to this new reservoir and began filling it.
The District now only uses the deep wells for an emergency backup supply. All of the water normally served to the community is taken from the reservoir and treated at a new Micro-Filtration plant that is located just below the reservoir.
The benefits of the reservoir have been many;
- The District now has one of the most reliable water supplies in the State,
- The District is now able to move its surface waters to the reservoir when there is more than adequate water at its diversion point,
- The District no longer has to worry about its surface water supply going dry and thereby interrupting its ability to produce water,
- By moving its surface water when the stream flows at its diversion point is more than adequate and not taking water during low flows the District is helping protect the environment along that stream,
- The water from the reservoir has less hardness than the deep wells,
- Two of the deep wells also had arsenic in the water, enough that to meet water quality standards only one of these wells could be used at a time, now with the reservoir neither well is normally used,
There are now over 400 homes in the District, all being served by water from the reservoir.