THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4) – The city of Thornton is building sections of a water pipeline in northern Colorado despite Larimer County’s decision to deny a building permit. A district court judge ruled last week that the Larimer County Board of Commissioners was within its authority to deny the permit but the county can’t make Thornton put its drinking water down the Cache la Poudre River.

The pipeline would take water from north of Fort Collins to Thornton. Construction will continue in municipalities such as Windsor, Timnath and Johnstown where Thornton has agreements to build the pipeline.

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(credit: CBS)

Crews are working on the pipeline this week in Windsor. About five miles of pipeline is already in the ground, according to officials.

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Pipeline construction in Windsor (credit: CBS)

Thornton owns 48% of the shares in the Water Supply and Storage Company, which takes its water out of the Poudre River. The dispute with Larimer County is centered around how Thornton will move that water south to its residents.

Thornton Communications Director Todd Barnes released the following statement to CBS4:

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“We are certainly disappointed and disagree with elements of the Larimer County District Court’s decision. Although, we agree with the court’s decision that the commissioners exceeded their authority to require any consideration of a non-pipeline alternative such as sending Thornton’s water down the Poudre River. Thornton was hopeful to move forward in Larimer County with the process of bringing the quality water Thornton owns via pipeline to our residents. We remain committed to ensuring the people of Thornton get the water they own and after taking sufficient time to review the judge’s decision we will determine our next steps.”

Audra Streetman