Project Allows the Wastewater District to Meet Growing Demand of Northern Colorado
The South Fort Collins Sanitation District (SFCSD) has announced the completion of a $40 million expansion of its wastewater reclamation facility located in south Fort Collins.
The expansion project was launched in 2017. It allows SFCSD to reach more Northern Colorado customers while maintaining its dedication to high-quality wastewater treatment and low service rates. The project was officially completed on May 28, 2021, ahead of schedule and under budget. Additional project enhancements were added into the scope and recently completed to finish the project in its new expanded entirety.
“We’re pleased to have expanded our high-quality services in Northern Colorado,” Jim Ling, board president of the SFCSD, said. “Every drain from all 45,000 customers in our district leads to our facility and with the area growing at such a fast rate, it’s important residents have a state-of-the-art, eco-conscious services that meet their needs today and into the future. With this expansion, we’re able to meet rising demand while maintaining our dedication to around-the-clock wastewater management and low rates for all of our customers.”
With more than 400 miles of collection lines delivering wastewater to the wastewater reclamation facility 24 hours per day, seven days per week, 365 days per year, this expansion project was approached with three strategic goals: to address necessary updates needed to meet new, stricter regulations enacted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, to reduce the undesirable nutrients that reenter the environment after treatment, and to meet forecasted growth in the Northern Colorado region; according to Colorado Real Estate Journal, Northern Colorado is expected to grow 45 percent by the year 2030.
“Our team for this project was intentionally vetted and carefully selected,” said Chris Matkins, SFCSD district manager. “We worked with each of our stakeholders to choose the best representatives from engineering, management, wastewater treatment plant staff, contractors and board representatives. Wastewater treatment is vital to our community so building a strong team was of the utmost importance. It was also important to us that this remained cash-funded, ensuring customers would not incur debt from the project. By selecting an incredible team, we were able to ensure the project remained on budget and on schedule, further contributing to remaining fiscally responsible.”
This project was funded through the sale of taps and impact fees collected during development, aligning with the District’s philosophy that “growth pays its own way” and should not be funded by current customers. With these improvements, the SFCSD will be able to control costs and continue to provide wastewater services for a low monthly fee. For the expansion, the District brought on Jacobs Engineering and Hydro Construction to plan and complete the project.
“This project was one of the best projects in my 40-year career,” said David Oerke, PE, BCEE, project manager from Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. Oerke had the opportunity to manage and follow the project through the five phases: 1) study, 2) preliminary design, 3) final design, 4) construction and 5) start-up. “I am honored to have been able to work with such a good client with the team at South Fort Collins Sanitation District, an excellent contractor with Hydro Construction, and a great design and services team through the rest of the Jacobs team.”
The facility will now be able to produce a Class “A” biosolid, which will be reused and recycled instead of disposed of in landfills, as was the previous practice. This change in storage will reduce treatment costs for the plant. The expansion also gives the facility an additional hydraulic capacity of at least one and a half million gallons per day, bringing the facility’s total capacity to six million gallons per day which will allow them to serve future growth in the District. Other updates include step-feed aeration basins, ultraviolet disinfection equipment, odor control facilities and upgrades to mechanical and electrical equipment. These updates not only allow SFCSD to meet new regulations but also positions the District for cost-effective expansions in the future, as well as increase redundancies at the treatment plant to improve 24/7 service.
Due to efficient planning and execution, the SFCSD was able to add $2.25 million in multiple project enhancements into the scope of the overall undertaking while still coming in under budget. The District was also able to complete the entire project without financing, saving its customers money in the long term.
“We applaud the District in selecting the construction management-at-risk delivery method for the project. This allowed Hydro to on-board early in the design and provide constructability review, value engineering, cost estimating and establish a collaborative working relationship with the entire project team,” said Stan Javernick, president at Hydro Construction, Inc. “While our team was able to accelerate the construction schedule with early work packages and the procurement of long-lead equipment, the ultimate success was due to a strong relationship and high level of trust between Hydro Construction, the District and Jacobs Engineering.”
For more on the entire scope of the newly completed project, including expansion and improvement details, visit the SFCSD Plant Expansion page at fclwd.com.
The Fort Collins – Loveland Water and South Fort Collins Sanitation Districts have provided water and wastewater services to businesses and citizens since 1961. The Districts serve approximately 50,000 people in an area that encompasses approximately 60 square miles in part of Fort Collins, Loveland, Timnath, Windsor, and Larimer County.