Redhill Forest has an excellent water system. However, it didn’t used to be that way. The original water system was notorious for freezing in the winter (pipes were not buried deep enough). The term “Redhell Forest” and realtors refusing to show properties in the area can be attributed to nearly three decades of suffering through a poor water system. But all of that changed in 2014 when the system was rebuilt.
Redhill’s community water system has several advantages over individual wells. Its treatment system removes the radon gas, radium, iron, and manganese in the raw water. The system also removes the sulfur smell wells often produce. It is continually monitored (required by state regulation) for water quality. The water mains buried in the roads are designed to be freeze-proof, and new construction requires residential lines to be buried at least 9 feet deep and carefully insulated. Fire hydrants are located along all the water lines to improve fire protection. Beyond lowering insurance rates (depending on the carrier), the cost of a water tap and installing a water service line to a new home is almost always less expensive than drilling a well.
In 2010, a small group of Redhill owners decided that the future of the subdivision would rise or fall based on having a dependable and reliable water central water supply. They spearheaded a push to design, engineer, and install a high-quality system. With a $5 million dollar price tag and a loan secured from the USDA, the community moved forward. Like any large and expensive community project, rebuilding the water system had its detractors and share of controversy. But, after a decade of improved quality and reliability, that investment has proven to be a wise one, with a significant increase in lot value and a consistent addition of new homes every year.
Dave Stanford, the owner of H2O Consultants Ltd. and Redhill’s long-time water manager, describes the system as a “little gem.” And Dave should know as he’s overseen Redhill’s water for 22 years and manages several other systems.
Our water’s journey starts with a well on the east side of the ridge that taps into the Dakota aquifer. The water right for that well is 196.2-acre feet per year. A rough rule of thumb is that one acre foot of water supplies three homes annually. This is based on a statewide average of 100,000 gallons per home annually. That amount of water has the potential to serve 585 homes. In early 2023, Redhill had nearly 170 completed homes. Currently, four to six new homes are built each year, so there should be sufficient well water capacity to meet the demands of this decade. Redhill Forest also has rights to a second undeveloped well for future growth and backup water.
Well water is pumped to the water plant building about mid-way atop the ridge above Middle Fork Vista. The plant filters and processes the water and then fills a 32,000-gallon tank adjacent to the plant. The water main system runs north further up the ridge to fill a larger 50,000-gallon tank. Together, these two tanks keep water in the system.
Redhill water customers pay a flat fee for up to 3,000 gallons of monthly water. Many of our water customers use less than the base monthly allowance. Fees increase with higher water consumption. The State of Colorado requires the water to be used for domestic consumption only, and no exterior water use is allowed. Hot tubs are allowed, but lawns are not.
You should anticipate spending $17,500+ to bring water onto your lot. Your water tap fee is for the cost of connecting a residential water line to the community system. It includes the cost of a water meter and pit enclosure. Prices may vary, but area excavators charge $10,000 for digging the pit and any needed road cuts (especially if your property is on the other side of the water line running along the road). There are additional charges for running a water line to your house or RV pad (which can be done later). That is usually a per foot cost of $45+ per foot. Stubbing out for a home connection is included. However, if you are installing an outside frost-proof RV faucet, there will be an extra charge for time and materials.
Be Water Wise
With western water shortages constantly in the news, Redhill is fortunate to have a plentiful water source. However, whether you are building a new home or remodeling an existing one, you should be water-wise in choosing efficient washing machines, dishwashers, and low-flow toilets. Suppose your Redhill property is a second home. In that case, we recommend turning your water off for extended absences or installing a flow monitoring system that turns off if a leak is detected. Not only will this save you on an unplanned water cost, but it will also help avoid expensive damage caused by a leak or burst pipe.
Go deeper to learn about residential water conservation, winterizing, and how meters and billing works by clicking here.