High in the southern Colorado Rockies, Trinchera Peak rises majestically above the Sangre De Cristo mountain range.  North of Trinchera, and below the ridgeline to the East, several large natural lakes collect the snow melt and rain water as it funnels down through the glacial cirques and cascades into the mountain valleys... In time, spilling into the rushing waters of the Cucharas River, Baker Creek and Dodgton Creek.

For thousands of years, this has been the source of clean fresh water, flowing through the Cucharas Valley.  Over the last 100 years, as settlers moved into the valley, cabins and homes were being built and the population grew. The need for effective and responsible management of our clean water resources became increasingly important. Cucharas Sanitation and Water District (CSWD) was established in 1974 to manage Cucharas residents water and sewer.  Cuchara continues to grow and flurish while CSWD continues to manage and offer service to Cuchara's residence in accordance with State of Colorado guidelines and practices.  

If you have any questions please call our office, the number is listed above.


Cucharas Sanitation and Water District (CSWD) will be holding a Regular Board Meeting on July 12, 2019 - 9:00 am, located at 16925 State Hwy. 12, Cuchara, CO.  Board Meeting Date/Time Change and Agenda are posted on this website under the Document Tab prior to the board meeting.  CSWD board meetings are open to the public and the Board of Directors encourages all Cuchara Residents to attend.  If you would like to be on the Agenda, please contact the CSWD office and request to be on the Agenda Form. 

Water Systems Improvement Project 2019 




The District has undertaken a comprehensive evaluation of its water system.  The resulting Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) was titled “2017 Water System Evaluation”, completed in March of 2018.  GMS, Inc., Consulting Engineers, conducted and produced the report for the District.  The PER was presented to the District Board and the condition of the District’s water distribution system was discussed.

The PER defined and prioritized the deficiencies within the District’s drinking water system which included dividing the proposed improvements into two phases.

The District derives its water supply from various surface water sources.  The District's drinking water system consists of surface water diversion, treatment, transmission, storage, distribution and customer metering components.

The improvements identified in Phase One include various components in the distribution system including customer meter system upgrades, distribution system piping replacement and looping in the Spanish Peaks area and storage tank refurbishment.

Additional improvements were identified in the PER as Phase Two Improvements, which includes upgrades to the treatment equipment at the Spanish Peaks Water Treatment Plant and the Cuchara Water Treatment Plant. Phase Two improvements are not included in this current project.  The cost for the Phase Two Improvements is approximately $1.6M.

After the water system improvements have been completed, a distribution system leak detection survey will be completed.  This, along with metering of all customers, will allow the District to conduct a water use audit based on accurate water use data.

The public health benefits include the replacement of shallow, small diameter HDPE piping that will lower contamination risks.  A leak detection survey will be completed after the improvements to help identify other leaks (i.e. sources of contamination). Improvements to the storage tank vents will enhance barring small animals from entering the water system.

A financial review of the District’s water funds indicates that the utility is operating responsibly.  At this time, it is unknown if a rate increase will be required as the revenue may change once all customers are metered and billed for actual use.  After reviewing the audits from previous years, the overall financial health of the District is healthy with the revenue exceeding the expenditures.

The recommended Phase One Improvements have a total project cost estimate of $1.9M.

Scope/Project Description

The proposed water system improvements project consists of the following:

  • Distribution system piping replacement and distribution system looping in the Spanish Peaks area consisting of approximately 10,400 feet of 4-inch and 6-inch PVC piping, fire hydrants, line valves and blow offs.  These improvements will eliminate winter bleeders.
  • Storage tank refurbishment including interior coating and exterior coating of the Spanish Peaks tank; interior coating of the Resort tank, and exterior coating of the Pinehaven tank.
  • Customer meter system upgrades consisting of approximately 50 new meters in meter pits, replacement of approximately 60 older meters plus a new dual check meter setter, replacement of approximately 3000 radio-read transmitters, plus new radio-read data collectors and billing software.
  • Comprehensive distribution system leak detection survey
  • Conduct water use audit based on complete and accurate water use data

Project Cost/Funding

An application for a Drinking Water Revolving Fund (DWRF) loan for approximately $1.7M was approved in March.  The District’s loan will be a fixed interest rate of 2.5%, amortized over a 20-year period.

As part of the review of the Project Needs Assessment (PNA), CDPHE will evaluate the District’s eligibility for a design and engineering grant issued by the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority (CWR&PDA) to assist with costs of completing the necessary design and engineering of the proposed project.  The projected budget amount for this grant is $50,000.



Click NOTICE above to view CSWD's Revised Commercial Rate Plan (APPENDIX A)



Copyright 2019 Cuchara Sanitation & Water District