Waste water plant is now official

Barbara LawlorWaste water plant is now official

Bob Orsatti, executive vice president and engineer of record for the Nederland Waste Water Facility project, said, “I am very proud and enthusiastic about the completion of this building and site. It has been an arduous path and, ultimately, the town has something that they had hoped for.”
As long as most residents can remember, the southern shore of Barker Reservoir has been blighted by sewer ponds which bubbled murky froth and exhaled pungent fumes. The ponds resided next to a hiking trail and the Teen Center and was visible and smellable to East Street neighbors.
Last Thursday, Aug. 29, the Nederland Board of Trustees, the Public Works Department and the engineers

Town Hall in the summer
Town Hall in the summer

and contractors who worked on the project gathered at the entrance to the facility and celebrated its official inauguration into Nederland’s infrastructure.
Over the years, the general contractor, Aslan Construction working with Frachetti Engineering, formed a cohesive design-build team to bring the project to completion. These entities worked with different boards, different engineers and different funding strategies, but they never quit.
Consultant Wayne Ramey said that in 2004 he was to help with the project. At that time Chris Perret was mayor. Mark Clift was head of the water plant, and Tim Underwood was director of public works. “You were in trouble then,” he told the present Nederland Board of Trustees. “We had to square with the state, and they consulted with me.”
It took many meetings of the mind before those involved came up with a plan and set it into motion. Mayor Joe Gierlach told the group that he had been elected in 2008, just five years ago, and just in time to see the work come together. He said Board Member Kevin Mueller was instrumental in envisioning a project that would reflect Nederland’s dedication to the environment.
He said that Project Manager Mark Weritz coordinated the finances and construction to save the town $6 million. The projected electrical cost of $750,000 was reduced to $15,000 due to green planning and installation.
Most of the work was contracted out to local companies. All the rock work on the buildings was constructed with rocks excavated from the building site and put up by Kris Lawson and David Francis of KMB Stonemasonry. It is said that the men pounded on the rocks to determine their density. The dry wall was done by Stuart Schultz of Gilpin County.
Bob Franchetti of Franchetti Engineering said: “This is the most exciting project we have ever done as a company. The town needed this to happen, needed the facility to be sustainable and it had to work on its own merits. It could not be subsidized, and the choice of the process made it work.”
After the speeches, the ribbon was cut by the Nederland Town Board of Trustees and then a celebratory dinner was served.
Media representative Allison Mudrey said the new facility utilizes architectural design elements that blend in with the surroundings and improve the area aesthetics. The new treatment facility occupies only 50 percent of the land allotted for the project, allowing the remainder of the site to be re-graded, landscaped and prepared for park and recreational uses.
Water quality for the town and downstream users, including the city of Boulder, is now in the top 10 percent in the nation. This high quality is achieved by using high-efficiency equipment and processes such as UV disinfection, which leaves no chemical residuals in the treated water that is discharged into Barker Reservoir and tertiary sand filtration which improves discharge water quality. The improvements have expanded the facility’s capacity by 40 percent, providing the town with flexibility for future growth.
After years of living with an eyesore, a terminally ill operation and the stink of nearby sewer ponds, Nederland can now show off its state of the art, high tech, sustainable facility.

Barbara Lawlor

Barbara is a reporter for The Mountain-Ear.