Lowry Landfill restoration

Background

The State of Colorado received approximately $1 million in natural resource damages that resulted from the City and County of Denver’s operation of the Lowry Landfill, which created injuries to groundwater, surface water, soils, and sedimentation.

Restoration

The Natural Resources Trustees awarded natural resource damages funds to four projects:

Wetland repair and revegetation areas along Bear Creek, between Wadsworth and Sheridan on W. Dartmouth Avenue.
Above photo depicts wetland repair and revegetation areas along Bear Creek, between Wadsworth and Sheridan on W. Dartmouth Avenue.

1. The Bear Creek Water Quality Restoration Project provided improvements to the storm water outfalls along Bear Creek within Bear Valley Park to reduce pollutants (E. coli) and sediment loads entering Bear Creek. The project also improves surface and groundwater quality through wetland vegetation filtration systems and includes a variety of benefits to natural resources by establishing native plant and tree species, removing noxious weeds, reducing erosion along stream banks, and restoring wildlife habitat.

Improvements to Westerly Creek between E. 11th and E. 13th Avenues at Xenia Street.
Above photo shows improvements to Westerly Creek between E. 11th and E. 13th Avenues at Xenia Street.

2. The Westerly Creek Restoration Project is part of the community plan to ecologically restore the South Platte’s functioning greenway systems. The project provides for enhanced contours and wetlands to allow surface water to more effectively recharge the groundwater and allow plants and macro-invertebrates to thrive and evolve in a healthy ecosystem while simultaneously improving the aesthetics and social enhancements in the community.

Photo of the Bluff Lake aquatic habitat improvement project, after the completion of the dam improvements.
Above photo of the Bluff Lake aquatic habitat improvement project, after the completion of the dam improvements.

3. The Bluff Lake Project also received funding from the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Natural Resource Damages Fund. This project, located on E. 29th Street and Havana, proposes to conserve water by creating a permanent lake by reinforcing the dam that separates the lake from Sand Creek. Creating a year round lake will improve habitat quality, attract wildlife, conserve water, and provide for more consistent percolation to groundwater.

4. Ridgeview Academy Water Conservation Project conserves water through an evapotranspiration controller system. The evapotranspiration controller system is linked to a weather station to get daily evapotranspiration data including wind speed, relative humidity and air temperature. The evapotranspiration controller system calculates the precise amount of water to use for irrigation as well as the best times to irrigate based on the data, which will result in a significant reduction to overall water usage and promotes the use of green technology for conservation efforts.

Revolving Loan Fund

In addition to the Natural Resource Damages, the State of Colorado provided funds to the Denver Urban Renewal Authority for the repair and replacement of water and sewer lines through the creation of a revolving loan fund. For information on how to obtain financial assistance for your sewer and water line repairs please contact cgarcia@renewdenver.org

Contact

Susan Newton
Federal Facilities Rocky Mountain Arsenal Team Leader 
susan.newton@state.co.us
303-692-3321