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Cascade water district caps one leak, many more to go - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Cascade water district caps one leak, many more to go

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EL PASO COUNTY -

Members of the Cascade Metropolitan District hope they've found the source of a water leak that's been pouring thousands of gallons of fresh drinking water into Fountain Creek. Crews have blocked off Chipeta Park Road for the last three days to try and dig up the old service line and cap it off.

"This leak is part of many leaks in this 130 year old system," explained water board member Susan Soloyanis.

The water has been leaking across private property owned by Steve and Wendy Beisel near their Pickle Shack business.

"We don't know how long it's been leaking," Soloyanis said. "The homeowner says it's been leaking for two years. We sure do wish he told us about it, but it's getting fixed."

The reason Soloyanis said she didn't know how long the leak has existed is due to the fact that the entire water system is old and not well maintained.  Cascade Metropolitan loses about 40 percent of the water they buy from Colorado Springs Utilities each year due to frequent leaks.

The water district, along with neighboring Arabian Acres, suffered substantial financial losses three years ago when former district manager Terry Malcom split town with ratepayer money. Malcom was later charged and convicted of embezzlement, but the money wasn't recovered.

Soloyanis explained that the district is in the process of turning over maintenance and operations to Colorado Springs Utilities.

"We've entered into an agreement with Colorado Springs Utilities to make a certain set of repairs and improvements so that we can become part of their system."

The district borrowed $5 million through a bond issue to make those improvements and to pay off old debt. The bonds came with a steep hike in water bills, customers now pay an extra $78.50 each month.  If it means getting help from a bigger neighbor down the road, Soloyanis said it's worth it.

"Within the next three years we anticipate having a water system with good water pressure, clean water and it will be part of Colorado Springs Utilities."

The water district recently signed an agreement with a contractor who will begin making those system improvements in April. Soloyanis said that the district must also acquire larger utility easements from property owners as part of the agreement.

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