Water Pipelines in Larimer County

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Buried Pipeline in Field

The Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) includes approximately 36 miles of buried raw water pipelines in Larimer County to move water from the proposed Glade Reservoir to the NISP participants. The new pipelines will provide a safe, high-quality, year-round water supply to local communities in Northern Colorado.

Many pipeline routes were developed and analyzed through multiple pipeline routing studies. An Impacts Minimization Plan was used to decrease impacts on public, private and environmental resources with the pipeline route. Alignment options were developed to minimize the following: street crossings and traffic disturbances; construction impact on trees, wetlands and other natural resources; proximity to occupied homes and dwellings; and existing and future development. The pipeline construction will not require any occupied homes or residences to be removed.

The NISP Pipeline will begin at the proposed Glade Reservoir and will generally head east and south to deliver water to the NISP participants. An additional Poudre Delivery Pipeline will bring water from Glade Reservoir directly to the Poudre River. NISP participants have committed to a “refined conveyance” concept with the goal of keeping more flows in the Poudre River year-round. This is accomplished by putting some of the water to be delivered from Glade Reservoir to the NISP participants directly into the river to be picked up east of Fort Collins. This will provide positive benefits to the river corridor and enhance the aquatic and riparian environment.

A typical width of 100 feet is anticipated to construct the pipeline. This area facilitates quicker and more efficient construction; however, a smaller work area is used where existing constraints and utilities may limit space. Approximately 60 feet of this width would be utilized as a permanent easement to access the pipeline in the future, while 40 feet would be acquired temporarily and used only for the initial construction. This 100-foot-wide corridor will be modified as needed in tight construction areas and where existing constraints limit the construction space.

Additional information on the NISP Pipelines can be found in the document library to the right.

A preliminary pipeline route is shown in the Pipeline Map tool below. As more information is gathered and the design progresses, the pipeline route may change slightly from the presented route.

The Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) includes approximately 36 miles of buried raw water pipelines in Larimer County to move water from the proposed Glade Reservoir to the NISP participants. The new pipelines will provide a safe, high-quality, year-round water supply to local communities in Northern Colorado.

Many pipeline routes were developed and analyzed through multiple pipeline routing studies. An Impacts Minimization Plan was used to decrease impacts on public, private and environmental resources with the pipeline route. Alignment options were developed to minimize the following: street crossings and traffic disturbances; construction impact on trees, wetlands and other natural resources; proximity to occupied homes and dwellings; and existing and future development. The pipeline construction will not require any occupied homes or residences to be removed.

The NISP Pipeline will begin at the proposed Glade Reservoir and will generally head east and south to deliver water to the NISP participants. An additional Poudre Delivery Pipeline will bring water from Glade Reservoir directly to the Poudre River. NISP participants have committed to a “refined conveyance” concept with the goal of keeping more flows in the Poudre River year-round. This is accomplished by putting some of the water to be delivered from Glade Reservoir to the NISP participants directly into the river to be picked up east of Fort Collins. This will provide positive benefits to the river corridor and enhance the aquatic and riparian environment.

A typical width of 100 feet is anticipated to construct the pipeline. This area facilitates quicker and more efficient construction; however, a smaller work area is used where existing constraints and utilities may limit space. Approximately 60 feet of this width would be utilized as a permanent easement to access the pipeline in the future, while 40 feet would be acquired temporarily and used only for the initial construction. This 100-foot-wide corridor will be modified as needed in tight construction areas and where existing constraints limit the construction space.

Additional information on the NISP Pipelines can be found in the document library to the right.

A preliminary pipeline route is shown in the Pipeline Map tool below. As more information is gathered and the design progresses, the pipeline route may change slightly from the presented route.

What is your question regarding the NISP Pipelines?

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    Is this pipeline going to be the same pipeline that the City of Thornton is proposing? The route looks the same in front of our property.

    Sandy Helzer Asked 12 months ago

    Thank you for your question! NISP is a completely separate project from the City of Thornton and being organized by a different entity – Northern Water. You can find more information about the project at www.nisptalk.com/what-is-the-northern-integrated-supply-project and www.gladereservoir.org.


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    I have adjudicated water gathering lines that your proposed pipe will sever on CR44, probably negatively affecting the groundwater reticulation. How are you dealing with those issues?

    Prospectortom Asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for your question! A detailed geotechnical investigation will be done to determine the existing groundwater levels and movement in the area. Depending on what is found, a variety of mitigation options are available to control and limit groundwater movement - low strength concrete material surrounding the pipe, clay collars to prevent groundwater movement along the pipeline trench, sand bedding to allow groundwater to move through the pipeline trench, etc. 

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    Has there been any assessment of if the water could be run via the Poudre river through town instead of through a pipeline?

    LD970 Asked 4 months ago

    Thank you for your question! A portion of the water will be delivered from Glade Reservoir to the NISP participants directly through the Poudre River to be picked up east of Fort Collins. This "refined conveyance" will provide positive benefits to the river corridor and enhance the aquatic and riparian environment. A pipeline is required to meet the full project capacity, allow water delivery during emergencies, and for water quality reasons.  Sections 5.2.2.4 and 2.4 of the Project’s Fish and Wildlife Mitigation and Enhancement Plan (available online at https://www.northernwater.org/Kentico/getmedia/ee3c1a4c-dcc6-4083-a462-67047e4ce704/2017-State-Fish-and-Wildlife-Mitigation-and-Enhancement-Plan.pdf) go into further detail regarding the Poudre River refined conveyance, where 18 to 25 cubic feet per second of NISP deliveries will be added to the Poudre River.

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    How long does the pipeline construction disrupt the property? What is done following construction to make the property usable again? What is the long-term impact to the property?

    OGD123 Asked 4 months ago

    Thank you for your question!  On a typical day, construction crews are able to install 200 to 500 feet of pipe. Each property will have a specific remediation plan developed and implemented after installation of the pipeline. A specialized remediation contractor will replace the property to pre-construction conditions. The timeline for the remediation plan will vary by property, season, and length of pipeline installation within the property. Long-term, operation and maintenance staff will periodically access pipeline easements to inspect and service the pipeline and any appurtenances.

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    It's not on the maps right now, but what guarantee do we have that, in a few years, there won't be a pipeline "needed" to run through Bellvue to connect Glade to Horsetooth?

    Donna Braginetz Asked 10 months ago

    Thank you for your question! There is no planned pipeline between the proposed Glade Reservoir and the existing Horsetooth Reservoir. This pipeline was part of previous iterations of the project but is no longer included in any current or future plans. The federal, state, and Larimer County permitting processes do not include this pipeline. In the future, if it was determined that any other pipelines were needed in the project, they would have to go through all required permitting processes separately.