Environmental Stewardship

Sustainability is a core principle in how Castle Rock Water manages and operates our business to best serve our customers, care for the environment and ensure a strong water future. Our daily operations go beyond water protection and align business performance with commitment to environmental, social and community stewardship. Read our Environmental Policy.

Castle Rock Water takes great pride in retaining the Silver status of the Environmental Leadership Program in 2017. This statewide environmental recognition and reward program, from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, is for businesses that voluntarily go beyond compliance with state and federal regulations and are committed to continued environmental improvement. 

2017 environmental impact

Water savings:
 46 million gallons
Hazardous waste collection:
 96,172+ pounds 
Reduced energy consumption:
 7,216,624 kWh
Annual Natural Gas Savings:
 7,369,588 kBTU
Recycled materials:
 22,263 lbs. of brass, copper and metals

Water conservation


Conserving water is a primary goal in any sustainability efforts, but for Castle Rock Water it also makes business sense. Saving water means the less we have to purchase in the future with less financial impact to our rate payers. Our goal is to reduce consumption of gallons per capita daily to 100 by 2050.
Actions:
  • Reduced peak demand usage by assisting with increasing irrigation efficiency from top customers including Town outdoor facilities and non-residential customers
  • Water Use Management Plan – this demand management tool, revised in 2017, provides processes to ensure adequate volumes and pressure to the water distribution system during landscape irrigation season
  • Water Efficiency Master Plan – steps to encourage customers to use water efficiently
  • Water budget rate structure - tiered water budget with incremental rates to encourage conservation
  • Watering restrictions - limited days per week and times during the day to prevent water waste; in 2017, commercial properties were required to follow a similar three-day-a-week schedule
  • Landscape and Irrigation Performance Standards and Criteria Manual provides regulations regarding landscape and irrigation design.
  • Registration for Landscape Professionals program – required educational course on efficient irrigation practices for professional landscapers
  • Water Wiser workshops – free resident educational classes on efficient irrigation practices
  • Xeriscaping – free xeric design workshops and demonstration gardens
  • Rebates and Customer Incentive programs - rebates for turf removal and irrigation products to increase conservation practices 
  • Customer outreach with messaging in billing newsletter, social media and direct mail; added in 2017 was a monthly email
  • Annual town-wide conservation campaign, Mayor’s Challenge to the Fill the Rock is held each April

Watershed protection


One of our renewable water sources is surface water from Plum Creek. Prevention of hazardous waste entering our stream and keeping this source clean directly affects costs and treatment options. 
Actions:
  • Source Water Protection Plan was created, identifying risk and actions for activities and dangers that  could affect surface water
  • Hosting of Douglas County Household Chemical Roundup, with chemicals collected including 19,600 pounds of pesticides and herbicides, 3,020 batteries, more than a ton of motor oil and over 44,000 pounds of latex paint collected and recycled
  • 14th Annual Spring Up the Creek community-wide trails and creek clean up with 174 volunteers and 98 bags of trash; the theme for 2017 was Scoop Up the Poop
  • Sponsorship of dog waste station on recreational trail at South Perry St.
  • Increased lead and copper testing sampling 
  • Promotional education for the unused medication drop off at the Town police station

Energy savings


An Energy Management Plan was developed in 2015 to focus efforts on ways to reduce electrical consumption, a primary cost center for pumping water from the underground aquifer and through distribution channels. 
Actions for electrical savings:
  • The implementation of Energy Management Plan in 2015 enabled Castle Rock Water to minimize increases in electrical usage in preparation of operations growth. The plan actions were successful and realized a savings in electrical usage while seeing an increase in water production. Total energy savings in 2017 compared to 2016 was 2,159,813 kWH across the entire utility.  
  • Transition away from pumping deep water wells, the primary electricity user for water operations
  • Time of use billing at all pump stations
  • Use of billing dates to effectively determine when to start and stop operations at well facilities
  • Use the most efficient billing rate to keep costs at their lowest
  • Involvement in the Town of Castle Rock Project Green program for energy savings within work areas including using blankets instead of space heaters, Turn It Off light switch reminders and anti-idling campaign.
  • Continued replacement of old, failing light fixtures with LED lighting
  • The O&M Building built in 2017 uses high-energy efficiency measures such as motion-sensor interior lighting
Actions for natural gas savings
  • Natural gas usage is for facilities only and not part of the business operations
  • O&M Building with high-energy efficiency measures was built in 2016 and accounted for a majority of the 6.7% decrease in gas usage
  • Project Green education on the use of clothing layers and blankets to accommodate temperature fluctuations within offices and buildings
  • Lowering thermostats in remote, unoccupied facilities to maintain temperature above freezing

Recycling efforts


Though Castle Rock Water hasn’t quite gotten to recycling water (yet), recycling efforts are primarily for retired equipment. Castle Rock Water also has a strong administrative recycling program within the office.
  • Recycling of more than 780 retired brass meters
  • 22,263 lbs. of metal from various obsolete equipment and parts
  • Recycling of cardboard, including shipping boxes with recycling bin in yard
  • Recycling containers are used in personal office space and break rooms with continued education and reminders for use
  • Recycling of office supplies and equipment such as printer cartridges, copy paper, etc.
  • Participated in the Town of Castle Rock Project Green Team’s educating staff on what can be recycled in the recycling bins throughout all facilities 

Going for the Gold in 2018


The Environmental Leadership Program encourages continued sustainability by providing prescribed steps for advanced levels of stewardship. The Gold status requires the creation of the Environmental Management System to fully identify the environmental impact of business operations. This plan was submitted to CDPHE in 2018. In this plan, new goals were identified:

Goals
  1. Reduce the Town’s dependence on non-renewable water sources by reaching 75 percent of total water supply from renewable water sources by 2050
  2. Reduce the number of Sewer System Overflows per year to zero and clean or inspect one third of collections system annually
  3. Reduce overall water demand with a the goal of 100 gpcd by 2050
  4. Optimize existing facility recycling program by increasing awareness and ease of recycling among CR Water staff
  5. Reduce Overall Energy Consumption and continue the downward trend in kBTU per million gallons produced