Since 1907, the City of Greeley 's Bellvue Water Treatment plant at the mouth of the Poudre Canyon has treated drinking water for Greeley. The pipeline delivers drinking water from the plant to the city and is integral to ensuring a reliable water supply for Greeley water customers. Today, Greeley is building a new 30-mile, 60-inch pipeline to supplement the existing pipelines to accommodate the water demands of anticipated population growth.
To build this pipeline, Greeley conducted extensive engineering studies to determine a route that would have the least impact and would ensure that the water could flow by gravity. Gravity flow eliminates the need for expensive, power-consuming pumping facilities. Because this route goes through the cities of Fort Collins, Windsor, and Laporte, as well as unincorporated sections of Larimer and Weld counties, Greeley conducted an extensive public outreach effort to ensure that the concerns of residents and city and county government officials would be heard and addressed.
The pipeline is being built in five segments. A segment may be broken up into several phases. Below is the chronology of the pipeline through the fall of 2010. As of the fall of 2010, approximately two thirds of the pipeline has been built.
December 17, 2002 – Design work on the pipeline begins and the design engineer is hired.
April 13, 2003 – The Windsor Board of Trustees approves the Utility Plan Review of the Chimney Park Segment.
July 24, 2004 – The Windsor Board of Trustees approves the Utility Plan Review of the Farmer's Segment.
September 14, 2004 – The Larimer County Planning Commission approves the location and extent of the Farmer's Segment.
November 29, 2004 – The Chimney Park Segment that runs through the town of Windsor is completed and put in service.
May 26, 2005 – Greeley holds an Open House with residents of Fort Collins to inform them of the location and extent of the Fort Collins Segment and to solicit their concerns and input.
June 15, 2005 – The Larimer County Planning Commission approves the location and extent of the Fort Collins Segment.
June 16, 2005 – The City of Fort Collins Planning and Zoning Board approves the location and extent of the Fort Collins Segment.
February 22, 2006 – The Farmer's Segment is completed and put in service.
September 18, 2007 – Greeley briefs the Laporte Area Planning Advisory Committee (LAPAC) on the location and extent of the Northern Segment . LAPAC prepared comments that were forwarded to the Larimer County Planning Commission.
October 2, 2007 – Greeley holds an Open House with the residents of Laporte to inform them of the location and extent of the Northern Segment and to solicit their concerns and input.
October 17, 2007 – The Larimer County Planning Commission approves the location and extent of the Northern Segment.
March 7, 2008 – The first phase of the Fort Collins Segment, the Mulberry Phase, is completed and put in service.
December 16, 2008 – Construction of the second phase of the Fort Collins Segment, the Vine Drive Phase, begins.
August 10, 2009 – Settlement reached with several Laporte area landowners that allowed Greeley access to their properties to gather biological, historical, and geotechnical data.
August 20, 2009 – Site visit and tour of Point of Rocks area with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, State Historic Preservation Office, City of Greeley representatives, Point of Rocks area property owners and other interested parties.
September 29-October 1, 2009 – Cultural resource survey performed for Point of Rocks area.
Fall 2009 - Vine Drive Phase construction completed.
November 2009 – Water Department staff and consultants finalize an alignment that avoids the historic bridges located within the Larimer County approved Northern Segment route.
December 2009 – Preliminary alignment maps sent to Point of Rocks area property owners.
Winter 2010 – Construction of the third phase of the Fort Collins Segment, the UP Railroad Phase, begins.
April 2010 – Water Department staff begin sending easement offers to Northern Segment property owners.
April and September 2010 – Cultural resource surveys performed on remaining acreage of Northern Segment.
September 2010 -- Report detailing the findings of the Point of Rocks area cultural resource survey sent to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for review.
Fall 2010 – UP Railroad Phase construction completed.
December 2010 – Biological Assessment sent to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for review.
January 2011 - Report detailing the findings of the cultural resource surveys performed on the remainder of the Northern Segment sent to U.S. Corps of Engineers for review.
July 2014 - Corps authorization obtained
December 2014 - Construction of the Northern Segment begins
2016 - Construction of the Northern Segment to be completed
Northern segment alternatives
The City of Greeley evaluated dozens of possible alternatives to make the final six mile connection between the end of the existing pipe at Shields Street in Fort Collins and the Bellvue Water Treatment Plant at the mouth of the Poudre Canyon. The various alternatives were eventually combined into 18 different possible pipeline routes. Each of the 18 routes was then ranked by cost, land use disruption, and environmental effects (e.g. aquatic resources, Preble's mouse, raptors, forest, with historic sites noted). Based on this evaluation, Greeley narrowed the 18 possible routes:
The alternative selected by Greeley and approved by the Larimer County Planning Commission would affect the fewest parcels of land – 28, would cause the least amount of public disruption (i.e., road and driveway closures during construction), and would allow Greeley to utilize gravity to transport water – thus saving on power costs and reducing Greeley’s carbon footprint. The approved alternative follows Greeley’s existing pipeline for approximately two-thirds of the Northern Segment. It then follows existing railroad right-of-way for much of the remainder of the segment.
Map Water Pipeline Northern Segment Approved Alternative
Northern Parallel Alternative
This alternative was one of the first evaluated because we wanted to find corridors that were previously used. This alternative parallels our existing pipeline for a great majority of the Northern Segment. It was eliminated because during our evaluation we found that we do not have sufficient easement to construct another pipeline parallel to our existing one without impacting dozens of private properties. Since the existing pipeline was constructed in 1952 the Cache La Poudre Schools and significant housing developments were built on both sides of the pipeline along both Vernon Drive and Shannon Drive – click here to see a detailed map of this section. This alternative would affect 65 parcels of land, twice as many as the approved alternative.
Map Water Pipeline Northern Segment Northern Parallel Alternative
The 54-G alternative follows the existing pipeline for about a third of the Northern Segment and then follows along County Road (CR) 54-G for most of the remainder of the segment. This route would cause the greatest amount of public disruption as it would cause substantial road closures along 54-G, Laporte’s main transportation artery, for almost a year. It also would affect 153 parcels of land in the business district and surrounding residential areas, five times as many as the approved alternative.
Map Water Pipeline Northern Segment 54-G Alternative