Muller Receives ACEC Colorado 2020 Engineering Excellence Award for Work on State’s First Radial Horizontal Collection Well

Commerce City, CO (November 6, 2019) – South Adams County Water and Sanitation District (SACWSD) and Muller Engineering Company (Muller) were awarded an American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado (ACEC Colorado) Engineering Excellence Award for their work on Colorado’s first Horizontal Collector Well project.

This horizontal collection well is part of the ongoing expansion of the SACWSD’s separate irrigation supply system, which serves the north range area of SACWSD in Commerce City and unincorporated Adams County. The system was designed to reduce overall treatment costs and extend potable supplies for SACWSD residents. The new well boasts the highest documented municipal well yield in Colorado.

The horizontal collection well consists of a large concrete caisson sunk into bedrock from which well-screen piping laterals are projected outward from the bottom of the caisson in a radial fashion. Upon completion and pump testing of the collection well, the innovative facility’s firm yield was determined to be just under 13.0 mgd, roughly double the original projection range and more than the system’s initial 11 conventional wells combined.  

The well and pump station were completed using multiple project delivery methods during various stages of the project to capitalize on the advantages of each and provide the greatest overall value to the District. The result is an innovative high-yield, low-cost irrigation water supply to District customers.

Muller was a key SACWSD partner during multiple phases of this breakthrough project. Muller served as the Owner’s representative during the design of the below-ground portion of the well and provided construction phase services during construction of the $1.8M collector well caisson and laterals. Muller later provided design and construction phase services for the pump station on top of the well and the 1.7-mile transmission line to connect this supply into SACWSD’s irrigation distribution system.

The high yield of the collection well and single pump station will result in substantial savings to SACWSD’s overall master planned irrigation system due to the numerous lower-yield conventional wells that would otherwise need to be developed to match its production. In addition, SACWSD can provide a more sustainable irrigation supply using the horizontal collection well compared to conventional alluvial wells that are more susceptible to seasonal groundwater fluctuations and droughts. The overall project was delivered at a cost 8.6% below budget.