By Jim Benemann

DENVER (CBS4)– If you’re a Denver Water customer, you know we have it pretty easy. Just flip on the faucet or fire up the sprinklers and bingo!

The water is on, and it tastes great, too. But providing the water for ever-growing Denver metro area is the hard part. Expensive, too.

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The heavy lifting that’s underway at Denver Water’s Hillcrest facility is costing $100 million.

Even people living in southeast Denver might not know this big facility is there. It’s between Interstate 25 and Happy Canyon Road just north of Quincy Avenue.

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All those millions are being spent replacing two old 15-million gallon water storage tanks with three new, specially-lined, concrete tanks of the same size.

The pump station is also being replaced.

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“We need to deliver a stable water supply and this is one of the huge projects that will accomplish that,” said Kirk Petrik, the head of engineering for Denver Water.

The original tanks and pump station were built in 1960. Each new tank is 30 feet tall and stretches 100 yards long.

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“In all of Denver Water we have such a diverse infrastructure,” said Petrik. “Whether it’s a dam project or a tank project, they all seem to be unique.”

The general contractor on the project is MWH Constructors in Broomfield. The company’s on-site manager is the affable John Kolkman.

Kolkman told CBS4’s Jim Benemann he loses sleep over a lot of details on a project this size, but more than anything he has worried about three Saturdays when the concrete caps are poured on those three massive tanks.

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“Months of planning go into those three Saturday, and we need to get them just right,” Kolkman said. “If the weather isn’t kind or the concrete mix isn’t perfect, we can have real problems trying to reschedule because of all the logistics involved.”

The first two pour days went off without a hitch, leaving just one more anxious Saturday.

Ironically, recent warm, dry weather that has been bad news for Denver Water has been perfect for the construction team.

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They expect to come in under the current project deadline of August 2020.

Denver Water currently delivers it’s product to nearly one and a half million people.

When the renovation at the Hillcrest facility is complete, these tanks will supply the water to a quarter of the agency’s customers.

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