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What does a crowd of future civil engineers look like?

Colorado School of Mines students get a close look at construction on Denver Water’s new treatment plant.

Denver Water recently hosted 125 students from the Colorado School of Mines for a tour of the utility’s new Northwater Treatment Plant under construction along Highway 93 north of Golden.

The group had a chance to tour the site and hear from construction leaders who are working on the project.

With hard hats and safety vests, Colorado School of Mines civil engineering students gear up for safety during their tour of the construction site of Denver Water’s Northwater Treatment Plant north of Golden. Photo credit: Denver Water.

“It was a successful tour and a great time for the students to see the in-progress stage of the project,” said Jon Fischer, an engineering construction project manager at Denver Water. 

“Learning about construction and engineering in the classroom is important, and we’re glad we can add to their experience by showing the students how plans and designs are becoming a new treatment plant that will provide our customers with clean, safe drinking water for years to come.” 

Sustaining a complex water supply and treatment system that benefits more than 1 million people across the Denver metro area means doing infrastructure projects large and small. Read more about these projects.

The new, state-of-the-art Northwater Treatment Plant, being built next to the utility’s Ralston Reservoir, is expected to be complete in 2024 and will be capable of cleaning up to 75 million gallons of water per day.

Over the summer, work on the treatment plant passed a major milestone when concrete for the plant’s two storage tanks was poured. 

The new plant is part of Denver Water’s $600 million North System Renewal effort, which includes installation of a new pipeline to carry water from the new plant and upgrades at the old Moffat Treatment Plant built in Lakewood in the 1930s.

The Mines’ students aren’t the only students who have studied Denver Water projects up close. Denver Water’s experts have shared their knowledge — and an opportunity to tour construction sites — with engineering students from the University of Colorado Boulder.

In spring 2019, 70 senior engineering students from the University of Colorado Boulder toured the Northwater Treatment Plant’s construction site for their capstone senior project. 

The group, working in teams, spent the spring semester creating a design for the filter building, one of the major elements of the new plant, and pitching their design to a classroom review panel which picked the semester’s winning team.

And in 2017, a similar group from CU Boulder toured Denver Water’s Hillcrest project in south Denver. The utility at the time was in the midst of replacing two 15-million-gallon water storage tanks with three new ones to increase capacity and improve reliability.

The Hillcrest project is expected to be completed in early 2022.