By Sandy Barnes
To create a non-potable water system at Turner Middle School, the Town Board has agreed to an easement on Waggener Farm Park.
In his presentation at the Tuesday, April 21 meeting, Rob Stafford, resource manager for the Thompson School District, explained that the easement across the Town-owned property is the most cost-effective way to access raw water for an irrigation system at the middle school. The Town recently acquired the Waggener Farm property located west of the middle school, a portion of which the school district has purchased for a future sports facility.
Stafford said that establishing the non-potable water delivery system can be advantageous to the Town as well as the school district. “There’s an excellent opportunity to bring taps to Town parks,” he said. If the Town decided to participate in a non-potable water system expansion, it could serve both the school and Berthoud parks, he said.
The project includes construction of a pump house and an underground water vault, and placement of 12 and 6-inch irrigation pipe along with water storage tanks on the property. An existing utility line at the northwest corner of Turner Middle School will be extended 300 feet across the conservation easement to the pump house. According to the plan, the only visible structure will be the pump house and chain link fence surrounding it for safety purposes.
Stafford told the trustees that a check valve system would be installed to make sure that no raw water enters the Town system.
During the discussion of the proposal before the vote of approval, Trustee Glen Buckingham asked Stafford why the water line would run through Waggener Farm rather than along County Road 17.
“The problem is the cost,” Stafford replied. Installing the pipe across Waggener Farm is the least expensive way to bring water to the school.
Buckingham also asked about payback for the school district related to the non-potable system. “It’s not about payback,” Stafford said. “We’re not trying to make money. If we can produce non-potable water, we will save a lot of [treated] water.”