Ennis Water Softening Facility Information

 The Ennis Water Softening Facility became operational in March 2021. Now that the project is complete and softened water is being delivered to customers homes, the District is asking customers with in home treatment systems to re-calibrate their units to an incoming hardness level of seven grains per gallon (7 gpg).  The softening of the District's water has reduced scaling and created energy savings for our customers. 

Project Goals:

The goal of the Water Softening Project is to reduce the water hardness of the District water to 7 gpg (115 mg/L) from the previous average of 21 gpg (350 mg/L). Since the completion of the project the District has been able to meet or exceed this goal. Below is a graph of the water hardness levels since operations began in March 2021.

Line Graph Softening Levels 2022

Water Softening Project Fee: 

 The District Board of Directors previously approved the implementation of a fee for the Water Softening Project to begin in January 2021. In December 2020, the Board of Directors approved a $4.53 per month Water Softening Project Fee per single-family residential equivalent. The fee will be reset every year based on the total number of ERU’s on our system, which should result in it going slightly down every year. This fee will be distinguished on customer’s water and wastewater bills as a “Water Softening Fee” separate from the water and wastewater charges. 

 Single Family Residential Service  ERU's Per Service  Water Softening Fee
 5/8 inch 1 $4.53

Commercial customers can determine the Water Softening Fee for their account by multiplying the number of ERUs for their account, based on the size of their potable water service shown on their water bill, by the Water Softening Fee base, which for 2021 is $4.53. Please see the following table for ERU’s per service size.

 Non-Residential Service  ERU's Per Service  Water Softening Fee
 3/4 inch  2  $9.06
 1 inch  4.8  $21.74
 1.5 inch   11  $49.83
 2 inch  20  $90.60
 3 inch  43  $194.79
 4 inch  86  $389.58

For comments or more information, please contact the District at 303.288.2646. 

Taste Information:

Many customers have asked if the softening system will improve the taste of the District water. During the Hardness Advisory Committees research a blind taste test was conducted. During this taste test 4 water samples were provided including a sample of the current District water, a sample of the pellet softened water, a carbonate treated water, and a sample of Denver Water. 38 volunteers participated and rated the water as follows:

Water Sample  Rating
 Denver Water 1.7
 Current District Water  2.4
Pellet Softened Water 1.9
 Carbonate Treated Water  2.4

The participants were asked to rate the water on a scale from 1 (really good) to 5 (really bad). The results showed that the pellet softened water had a improved taste compared to the current District water. Although these results imply that there will be a improved taste after the District implements the pellet softening system taste is subjective and may be influenced by personal preference. 

Irrigation Water/ Landscape Information:

Residents who receive irrigation water from the separate irrigation system should continue to use the system. The separate irrigation system will not receive softened water.

The District has been following research done by Colorado State University (CSU) agricultural extension on the effects on landscaping from the softened water. CSU agricultural extension office recommends the sodium absorption ratio (SAR) stay below 10 to not have adverse effects on outdoor landscaping.  The projected sodium absorption ratio (SAR) for the softened potable water is anticipated to be below 4 once the system is fully operational.  The current SAR is approximately 2 therefore we expect there will not be any negative effects to landscapes from the softened water.

 The softened water from the project will have slightly raised levels of sodium from the current levels. As far as the effect on house plants, higher sodium levels will only have the potential to affect indoor plants if they are planted in clay soil.  It is not common practice to plant indoor plants in clay soil, but rather well draining potting soil, therefore there will be no effect on indoor plants. 

Sodium Levels:

The sodium levels of the District water will be slightly increased from the Water Softening Project. The new sodium levels will not rise to the levels of a traditional water softener. For residents on a low sodium diet the District does not expect the softened water to go above the EPA recommendation for sodium to not exceed 20 mg/L. 

Below you will find periodical updates for the project as well as photos and videos of the construction process. Any questions or comments can be sent to WSP2020@sacwsd.org

Photos of the WSP2020

November 19, 2020-  On November 19, 2020 the District held a Telephone Town Hall to answer questions for our customers about the Water Softening Project. If you were unavailable to participate a copy of the transcript in English and Spanish can be found here: SACWSD Telephone Town Hall Transcript English
 SACWSD Telephone Town Hall Transcript Spanish

October 23, 2020- In September the WSP passed a critical milestone of having the roof completed allowing the process building to be “dried in”.  This allows all of the other trades full access to the building to do plumbing, electrical,  HVAC, windows, drywall etc.  It also greatly reduces the chances of bad weather causing a delay. The project remains on schedule and on budget, with substantial completion targeted at the end of February 2021.  Substantial completion indicates the facility will be ready for SACWSD to operate.

June 24, 2020- The Water Softening Project is making more progress above is a video that shows a time-lapse of drone footage from the beginning of the project to the most recent project construction. 

 •Chemical Building:  The roof has been completed for the building.  HVAC equipment is being installed on the roof.  Interior plumbing and electrical has begun.  On the east side process equipment has been placed.  The block veneer on the exterior of the building is about 60% complete.     

•Process Building:  Major process equipment (3 pellet reactors and 8 filters) have been placed. Interior piping has begun and both pellet hoppers (residual product) have been placed and decking around them is being constructed.  Exterior metal building has been constructed for the truck bay, process and mechanical areas.  

•Administration Building:  In the beginning of June the metal building for the admin area has began to be constructed.

•Major yard piping and conduits are now complete for the stabilization basin and generator.  Moltz is working on the facility raw and finished water lines.   

March 27, 2020- Construction for the water softening plant has not slowed down. Approximately 90% of the underground piping is complete.  The concrete slabs are approximately 75% complete.  Major process equipment (pellet reactors) began installation in early March and will continue through April and May.  The Process Building will begin to be constructed at the end of April.  The project remains on budget and on Schedule for completion first quarter of 2021. Below is a picture of the installation of the pellet reactors. 

Pellet Reactor Installation

March 2,2020- Two major parts of the WSP project are underway! The construction of the 24” pipeline that will bring water from the northern wells down to the Klein WTP for softening and the upgrade and rehabilitation of the wells has begun. Both projects are scheduled to be completed by June. The pipeline construction will be the most noticeable along Rosemary and Quebec street. Work at the well sites will not be that noticeable but is critical in providing the capacity for these wells to be treated through the GAC process and the Softening process before being delivered to the potable water distribution supply. 

February 14, 2020- In December of 2019 the District Board approved a Change Order to the project moving the substantial completion date from December 10, 2020 to February 24, 2021.  This change was necessary to accommodate two construction issues that had impacted the project in the first 8 months and also to add nineteen weather days to the schedule.  The addition of the weather days accommodates issues with the unusually cold/snowy (at least for the last several years)  weather experienced since the end of October 2019.  With this change the project is on schedule and under budget. 

Significant milestones include:

  • Chemical building The concrete block walls are being constructed and are approximately 60% complete.  Five of the chemical tanks have been installed. 
  • Stabilization basin.  This structure is ahead of schedule and only requires minor finish work to be complete. 
  • Underground duct banks and steel piping.  A majority of this work has been completed allowing for backfill/compaction and concrete floor slabs to be poured in the truck bay and pellet reactor area.
  • Process Building.  The footers are approximately 80% complete and concrete slabs for the filter area will be poured in February with the delivery of the filters scheduled for March.  Pellet reactors are scheduled for delivery in February.
  • Administration Area.  Deep piping and footers have been completed with floor slabs scheduled to be poured in March.

November 13, 2019- The project is 8 months along and the construction of the 3 major structures of the treatment plant has begun. The 3 structures are the stabilization basin, the chemical building, and the process/administration building. Below you will find details about the current progress on each of these buildings:
-The smallest of the 3 structures the stabilization basin has been constructed and only needs the concrete roof to be poured to be generally complete. - The chemical building, the second largest structure, has had all under slab piping completed. They are about 1/3 done with the concrete block walls for this building. Once the walls are complete the chemical storage tanks will be installed and that will be followed by plumbing and electrical components. - The process/administration building, the largest of the 3, is currently progressing underground piping for the structure. There are 3 different levels of piping that are stacked on top of each other. One level has to be completed before installing the next level. Under the footprint of this building there are several miles of water pipe and electrical conduits. Underground piping is scheduled to be finished up by the end of the year, then concrete floor slabs will be poured and equipment will begin to be installed in January. The metal building for this structure will begin to be erected in March of 2020.

July 12, 2019- The Water Softening Project 2020 (WSP2020) is well underway. A big milestone for the project has just been completed all gas chlorine has been removed from the site, which significantly reduces hazards to the surrounding community and staff. The District has been using liquid chlorine for a disinfectant since early June. The construction crew has begun laying the foundations for multiple buildings on the site. Below you will find a short video that displays the early progress of the project.

March 5, 2019-  On Monday March 4, 2019 South Adams County Water and Sanitation District celebrated the groundbreaking of the future pellet softening treatment plant. The future softening plant will be added to the Klein Treatment facility located at 7400 Quebec St. The pellet softening treatment process has been used throughout Europe for decades but is a new and innovative process in the United States. Pellet softening has the ability to reduce hardness by removing the calcium minerals from the hard water and producing a calcium carbonate pellet that has the potential for beneficial reuse. When the construction is complete the new softening plant will be the largest pellet softening plant in the country. The plant is expected to be operational in late 2020. 

August 24, 2018- Below is an animated walk through of the future Pellet Softening Treatment Plant.  

August 9, 2018- The District made the decision to perform this project with an integrated delivery method called Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR). This delivery method works by contracting with a construction management firm who will be part of the design team. They will provide input on constructability of the plant and value engineering ideas to reduce costs.The District just concluded interviews with three prospective construction management firms. All three firms were highly qualified and made very impressive presentations.The Board of Directors approved the District’s selection of Moltz Construction to serve as the construction manager for the Pellet Softening project.  

July 31, 2018- Currently the project is in the planning and design phase with 50% of the design complete. Below are a few pictures of the expected treatment plant. The District is in the process of selecting a Construction Management Firm to oversee the project. 
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