FOUNTAIN, Colo. — The Pikes Peak Region is growing and developers are zeroing in on southern Colorado for projects including Fountain, but the demand may be too much for the city’s water supply.
“We have literally been bombarded with a tidal wave of development applications and developers and landowners who are interested in developing their property,” Fountain Utilities Director Dan Blankenship said.
Blankenship said within the last 6-12 months, the city has received more than 30 proposals, Fountain’s current water system operates on 8,700 taps.
“We calculated approximately how many water taps it would take to meet the needs of all those developments and it came under just 30,000,” Blankenship said.
Not all 30 proposals have been approved and the city says they aren’t turning away developers, but are being transparent about their water supply.
“We had one project that wanted 10,000 taps over time, their first phase was 2500 and we told them we don’t have the capacity to serve them,” Blankenship added.
Blankenship explained each city has a water system that is limited, so at this time they are issuing taps on a first come, first serve basis once developers undergo an entitlement process and become approved. In addition, projects to fix the issue are underway.
“We have initiated a couple of projects that will enable us to increase the capacity of treated water that we have and we are looking two years to complete projects and once it’s completed we can have the ability to serve more taps,” said Blankenship.
Blankenship said the projects will add an additional 1,000 to 1,200 taps, but there will be a point where the system is tapped out.
“We are not putting the breaks on anything, we are moving forward as rapidly as we can to develop additional capacity,” Blankenship said.
In addition to the projects the city is working on a Water Utility Master Plan which will help identify alternatives to meet development needs.
“One of the elements of that master plan will be to project all of the expected or estimated demands that will be put on the system through the year 2050,” Blankenship said.
The plan will also help identify funding for the plan, Blankenship says those who benefit from the system should put forward the money.
“We can’t put the burden on the backs of our 8,700 costumers to build a new system that will benefit those landowners or developers,” Blankenship said.