‘They’re [Russian Olives] thorny, nasty trees’ — Drew Sprafke

July 26, 2013

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From The Denver Post (Emilie Rusch):

An offensive against the Russian olive tree — an invasive species that chokes out native cottonwoods and willows — has been launched by Denver, Lakewood, Englewood, Colorado Heights and the Fort Logan National Cemetery. “They’re thorny, nasty trees,” said Drew Sprafke, an official with the city of Lakewood Regional Parks. “When they form those dense stands, no one can get through them.”

Using a grant from the Colorado Water Conservation Board, an 11-person crew from Mile High Youth Corps will be working through early August removing the trees from the lower Bear Creek watershed.

Introduced to Colorado as an ornamental tree, Russian olives can be identified by their narrow, silvery leaves and olive-shaped fruit. They prefer moist, riparian areas, but can be found just about anywhere — along streams, in fields and open space, even ditches, Sprafke said

The eventual goal, Sprafke said, is to remove every Russian olive from Bear Creek Lake Park to the South Platte in Denver during a multiyear process.

The trees are considered a List B noxious weed by the state of Colorado, meaning local governments are required to manage and limit their spread.

Sprafke estimates there are 1,500 Russian olives between Bear Creek Lake Park and Wadsworth Boulevard.

More invasive species coverage here.


Denver Water: Harriman Dam Project complete

February 16, 2013

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Here’s the release from Denver Water:

Harriman Lake Park, located on the southwest corner of South Kipling Parkway and West Quincy Avenue in Littleton, Colo., will reopen to the public Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. The area has been closed since December 2011 for Denver Water to rebuild the 138-year-old Harriman Dam, bringing it up to current regulatory standards and restoring its full storage capacity.

The new dam will restore the water level approximately 3 feet higher, increasing the surface area of the restored reservoir from its former size of about 55 acres to about 66 acres. The reservoir will be refilled gradually after the Office of the State Engineer completes its inspection process.

This project allows Denver Water to meet the irrigation needs of multiple Harriman water users without adding demands to its potable water supplies or developing new sources of water. Denver Water uses the reservoir to deliver irrigation water to Fort Logan National Cemetery, Jeffco Public Schools, Pinehurst Country Club and other nearby areas.

Denver Water owns the reservoir, dam and land within the park, while Foothills Park & Recreation District manages the recreation at Harriman through an agreement with Denver Water.

Construction on Harriman Dam has been completed, and now Foothills Park & Recreation District is replacing recreational amenities before the park officially reopens Feb. 15. Fishing will not be allowed until the reservoir is restocked and vegetation is established along the banks.

More infrastructure coverage here.


The Evergreen Metro District plans to install an aeration system in Evergreen Lake

January 12, 2012

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From the Canyon Courier (Vicky Gits):

Aerating the lake during the summer months is expected to increase dissolved oxygen at the bottom of the lake, help lower the lake’s water temperature, produce cooler water going downstream over the dam and help reduce the amount of lakeweed or elodea in the water.

“The biggest concern we have is dissolved oxygen at the bottom of the lake,” said Gerry Schulte, executive director of the [Evergreen Metro District]. “If there isn’t enough (oxygen), the fish have a hard time, and it results in a process that releases iron and manganese into the water, and that creates a bigger treatment problem,” Schulte said.

The diffused aeration system is expected to increase dissolved oxygen concentrations. The new system is projected to run 10 hours at night only and recirculate the entire body of water every two days. The only visual effect will be bubbles on the lake.

Similar systems are currently at the wastewater plant in Kittredge and the Bear Creek reservoir east of Morrison. The Cherry Creek Water Authority is installing one in the Cherry Creek reservoir as well.

Aqua Sierra Inc. of Morrison will provide and install the equipment, which consists of eight underwater diffuser modules placed at an average depth of 20 feet or more. Modules will be placed 100 to 700 feet from the edge of the dam in the deepest part of the lake.

In addition to increasing the amount of dissolved oxygen, aeration is expected to counteract the heat-related water quality issues that occur in the summer months by creating a more constant temperature from top to bottom of the lake. So when the sun is out, it heats the top layer of water. The top layer goes over the dam and contributes to higher downstream temperatures.

More Bear Creek watershed coverage here.


Evergreen: Flushing the pipes

May 21, 2010

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From the Canyon Courier:

The Evergreen Metropolitan District will begin the annual water-main flushing program the first week of June and continue through the summer. Affected areas will be Tanoa, El Pinal, Wah Keeney Park, Hiwan Hills and Hiwan. The purpose of water-main flushing is to remove fine particles that settle in the water mains that cause color, taste and odor issues. If you have any questions, contact the Evergreen Metropolitan District at 303-674-4112.

More infrastructure coverage here.


Idledale: Turning dirt for new storage tank project

December 5, 2009

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From the Canyon Courier (Vicky Gits):

The construction site is about 5 miles up Grapevine Road on the northeast corner of Grapevine and Sawmill Gulch roads, west of Morrison off Highway 74. All of the water is sourced from four surrounding underground wells. Bosco Constructors of Englewood won the assignment with a bid of $436,000 from about five submissions. Construction is expected to be finished by March. The district is also seeking to replace the cast-iron water pipe that runs from the water storage tank to the distribution system, once all the easements have been obtained. The district is budgeting an increase in water rates of about $10 a month, starting in 2010, to cover debt repayment. The average water bill currently is about $75 a month. The upgrade is being financed with a 30-year, $920,000 loan supplied by U.S. Bank.

More infrastructure coverage here.


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