Irrigating with reuse water begins at cemetery


by Rich Rosene
Sanitation District Manager

The Kremmling Sanitation District recently started irrigating the Kremmling Cemetery with reuse water. Reuse water is wastewater that has been treated to meet the safety standards for irrigation use. The use of reuse water will take some of the pressure off of the town’s water treatment plant during the critical irrigation season. The district and town plan to expand irrigation with reuse water to the town square next summer. The long-term plan is to run reuse pipelines to Ceriani Park and the Red Mountain sports complex.

The cemetery is now posted with purple signs that indicate that reuse water is being applied. The signs are part of a nationwide system of marking reuse water facilities with purple. The distribution pipes that were installed in the ground are colored purple and the various purple hydrants in town are connected to the reuse distribution system.

The district’s reuse system is completely independent of the town’s drinking water system. The sprinkler system at the cemetery has a physical disconnect that only allows one system to provide the water to irrigate, either town water or reuse water, with no chance of a cross connection. The cemetery’s sprinkler system will run during the early morning hours for the most effective watering of the grass. 

The reuse water is disinfected with chlorine as it is delivered into the distribution pipeline. The district is required to test the reuse water weekly for any pathogens and for suspended solids. Due to the strict reuse water quality standards of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the district had to get its wastewater treatment process upgraded prior to providing the reuse water. The multi-year project of installing over 500 Bio-Domes in two of its lagoons and installing floating disk covers on all four treatment lagoons.

The Bio-D ome s treat the wastewater very effectively and allows for the district to store the treated water in its two storage lagoons as reuse water for irrigation purposes.

The district received two large grants from the Energy and Mineral Impact Fund of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) and the Small Communities Grant program within the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to cover the $1.79 million cost the project.

The district received an additional grant from DOLA to help fund the installation of the floating disk covers on all four of the treatment ponds. These disks will help to retain heat in the water to improve treatment when the very cold water temperatures arrive each winter and will prevent the growth of algae in the summer.

The district has two full-time employees, Jeremy Bock, and Pat Etler, a summer seasonal worker, and a part-time district manager, Rich Rosene. The staff is responsible for operating the treatment plant, collection system, and reuse system to CDPHE permit standards.

The sanitation district’s usage fees are included on the monthly bill from the town, but it is a separate entity with its own board of directors. If you want additional information on the district, its office is located in the town hall and can be contacted 724-3249.