By the Access Water team

Since March 2008, our firm has been working with its joint venture partner Western Summit Constructors as the design-build team for the Buckman Direct Diversion Project (BDD). On Sept. 30, water was diverted for the first time from the Rio Grande and pumped 11 miles and 1100 vertical feet up to the Buckman Regional Water Treatment Plant (BRWTP) to begin filling the 8 million gallon presedimentation basins for testing of the facilities. 

According to Rebecca Wurzburger, Chair of the BDD Project Board, Santa Fe Mayor Pro Tem and Santa Fe City Councilor, “This is truly a historic event on our journey to provide the Santa Fe region with a sustainable source of water.  Planning for this project started in 2001 during a period of severe drought.  Construction started in October of 2008 and in a few short months, we will begin delivering quality drinking water to over 100,000 City and County water customers,” she said.

The Buckman Direct Diversion Project diverts water from the Rio Grande northwest of Santa Fe, near the historical Buckman town site. The BRWTP is a 15-million-gallon-per-day advanced drinking water treatment facility that uses membrane filtration, ozonation, and granular activated carbon contactors that will produce high quality drinking water at the new water treatment plant located near the Municipal Recreational Complex. The BDD includes a diversion structure on the Rio Grande; a sediment removal facility; two raw water booster stations; two treated water pump stations; and 29 miles of raw and finished water pipelines.  It is one of the largest, most complex non-federal infrastructure projects ever built in Santa Fe County.

Thorough testing and re-testing of the system has already begun and will continue until the City and the County assume operations in the spring.

“Being able to watch Rio Grande water splash into the presedimentation basins takes the project from conceptual to reality,” said Virginia Vigil, vice-chair of the BDD Board and Santa Fe County Commissioner. “The next reality will be turning on our taps to get a drink of water,” she stated.