Water Projects - Regional and Local

The City of Lafayette is a partner in several large regional water projects that will help increase resiliency and diversify the water supply available for treatment and distribution to its community members.

Regional Projects

Gross Reservoir Expansion Project

The Gross Reservoir Expansion Project began in April of 2022 and is led by Denver Water to expand the capacity of the existing reservoir by raising the height of the dam.   Gross Reservoir is located in western Boulder County in the headwaters of South Boulder Creek.  Lafayette, Boulder, and Denver saw a unique opportunity as part of this expansion project to create an Environmental Pool in the enlarged reservoir which will provide 5,000 acre-feet of permanent, year-round storage space available to Lafayette and Boulder.

gross reservoir aerial view

Lafayette will have the ability to store decreed water rights in this dedicated space. This project has multiple advantages for the City including increased high mountain storage capacity, increased operational flexibility, system diversification, and a cooperative project with the City of Boulder to coordinate releases to provide significant ecological and environmental benefits to South Boulder Creek and the surrounding habitat. The augmented streamflows in South Boulder Creek will benefit 17.3 miles of South Boulder Creek, including Eldorado Canyon State Park and the South Boulder Creek State Natural Area, including the Plains Top Minnow, a species of special concern listed by the State of Colorado.

Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) and Windy Gap Firming Project

The Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) and Windy Gap Firming Project are large water supply projects by managed by Northern Water.

The City is one of 15 partners in NISP which will be bringing two new reservoirs and 40,000 acre-feet of additional water supply to Northern Colorado for the partner water providers.  NISP will utilize storage on the Cache la Poudre River in Glade Reservoir. Lafayette will receive 1,800 acre-feet of supply and storage from this project. NISP provides diversification of supply to the City by providing an additional basin into its water rights portfolio, in addition to providing additional storage capacity. This project is on track to begin delivering water by 2032.

Chimney Hollow Reservoir view of dam core construction

The Windy Gap Firming Project consists of the construction of Chimney Hollow Reservoir, a new 90,000 acre-feet reservoir in Northern Colorado located west of Carter Lake. Chimney Hollow will provide 30,000 acre-feet of water to its participating partners to firm up the water rights currently associated with the existing west-slope-supplied Windy Gap project. Lafayette is entitled to 900 acre-feet of storage from this project. Construction of this reservoir began in August 2021 and is anticipated to be complete in 2025.

Local Projects

Goose Haven Reservoir

The Goose Haven Reservoir Complex Expansion Project is located at the City’s existing reservoir site on Hwy 287, north of Isabelle Road.  Currently there are two existing cells that store water diverted from Boulder Creek that is delivered to the Baseline Water Treatment Plant.  

The City is in the process of constructing three new cells that will provide an additional 2,200 acre-feet of storage for the City’s supplies from Boulder Creek. The project is anticipated to be complete at the end of 2024.

bulldozer at Goose Haven Reservoir

Water Treatment Plant Construction

The existing Baseline Water Treatment Plant (BWTP) was constructed in 1994 with a rated capacity to produce up to 12 million gallons per day (MGD). Peak customer water demand during the summer months exceeds 10 MGD, which exerts operational stress for the aging plant. The second water treatment plant is needed to not only serve projected future demands, but also to provide crucial operational redundancy. Critical plant updates and regular maintenance can be more effectively performed on the existing BWTP with the new plant operational. The design process will span into 2025, with construction to follow.

Ongoing Rehabilitation and Replacement of Existing Assets

The City continues to take a proactive approach to ensuring its existing assets are maintained and replaced to ensure continuous operation and delivery of safe and reliable drinking water to its community members.

Water Reclamation Plant Expansion

In 2022 construction began to expand the City's existing wastewater treatment plant in order to enhance the capabilities of the existing facility originally built in the 1960s. Advanced technology and upgrades to the existing facility will enable the City to meet newly imposed Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) treatment standards. The expansion is located at the existing facility north of Highway 7 at E. County Line Road and includes biological treatment, multiple settling basins, and advanced filtration. The project is scheduled to continue through 2025.

Water Reclamation Plant construction - overview Looking East June 2023