A much-needed utility infrastructure project was recently started in the Estes Park area and will impact the Fish Creek Life Station and Mall Road. This project came about through an Intergovernmental Agreement, which will see the Upper Thompson Sanitation District (UTSD) and the Town of Estes Park (TEP) partnering to complete the project.
The work is comprised of replacing a single, 45-year-old sanitary sewer force main with new, dual-force mains. These will extend from the Fish Creek Lift Station to UTSD’s gravity sewer main near Joel Estes Drive. The lift station force main was a critical piece of infrastructure and had been in operation for 40 years. Due to its original design, it had not received the maintenance required throughout the years.
The force mains are pressurized sewer pipes that convey wastewater where gravity is not possible. To move the flow uphill, it requires a pump. These pumping facilities are called lift stations and may be required to transport the wastewater through the collection system.
This Lift Station and approximately 1,000 linear feet of 14-inch diameter cast iron force main is almost 50 years old with the interior of the force main being cement mortar lined. Wastewater flows along Mall Road through approximately 1200 linear feet of gravity sewer main to the treatment facility. Many homes located along Mall Road and Joel Estes Drive are not connected to the District’s collection system and utilize septic tanks and leach field wastewater disposal systems. In late 2016, it was determined that there was cracking of the cement mortar pipe lining within sections of the force main and the pipe conditions were not in favorable to last much longer.
New piping and valves will be added to the Fish Creek Lift Station. Old, aging pipes and valves will be replaced to facilitate new parallel force mains. As the Fish Creek Lift Station manages over a third of all of the district’s water flows, these improvements are critical to UTSD operations and public health.
While all of the above work will be completed by the sanitation district, the Town of Estes Park will be responsible for installing a new water main extension. That will include fire hydrants, valves, and blow-offs. The extension will run from its current terminal location near the Estes Lake Lodge, across U.S. 36 and end near Joel Estes Drive.
Residents along Mall Road can choose to connect to the UTSD sewer and Town of Estes Park water once the project is completed.
The district is optimistic that the crossing work will be completed in a two to three-week time frame. Final completion of the project is anticipated to end in June of this year.