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A more secure future for Castle Rock water is around the bend. As a running start for the new year, Town Council has agreed to go forward with plans to let Dominion Sanitation District begin the construction of two Denver Basin wells.

“This is a project that the team identified last year and that we budgeted for this year,” said Mark Marlowe, Castle Rock Utilities Director, before Town Council. Modeled after a $2.6 million build in the Canyons South area in 2010, the new basins would tap into the bedrock aquifers and feed directly into the Founder’s Water Treatment Plant.

“We have excess treatment capacity at that water treatment plant,” Marlowe said. The surplus water would provide a cushion for the local population’s water needs while renewable resources are given time to catch up to meeting the demand. “It’s a great thing to utilize that capacity because it provides additional reliability for our system.”

However, the cost for the project is likely to weigh more than in years past due to their location and depth. “This project does look like it will cost more than the $3 million originally thought,” he stated.

Town Council voted unanimously (7-0) to begin drilling.

But thanks to an agreement made last year, it looks like the Town won’t have to foot the lofty construction bill. “If council remembers, back in 2016 you approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Water and Sanitation District,” he said. “This is exciting because it’s timely with respect to Dominion Water and Sanitation (residing over the planned Sterling Ranch Community).”

The agreement states that Dominion will pay for the infrastructure that would serve the daily needs of local residents. In turn, the wells would also provide their development with a future backup water supply, giving Castle Rock time to reach its renewable water goals; one of those being necessary upgrades to the Plum Creek Water Purification Facility.

Currently, the Town relies on approximately 85 percent of its water to come from nonrenewable Denver basin groundwater. This project will be a step toward chipping away at that number. “By 2050, we plan to only provide about 25 percent of our water from the (non-renewable) deep groundwater system,” Marlowe said.