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Markey welcomes water delivery project


April 17 Congresswoman Betsy Markey hailed an announcement by the Bureau of Reclamation that $14 million from the Economic Recovery Package will help upgrade the water delivery pipes, called penstocks, at the Flatiron Hydroelectric Plant west of Loveland.

The Flatiron Penstocks are an integral part of the Colorado-Big Thompson water diversion and delivery project, which makes power generation possible at the Flatiron Power Plant and provide supplemental water to 720,000 people in northeastern Colorado. The protective coating on the inside and outside of the pipes is over 50-years old and in need of replacement.

"This project will improve water accountability and power plant efficiencies, which saves taxpayer dollars," said Rep. Markey. "In addition to bringing jobs to Northern Colorado, this upgrade will reduce long-term operational costs and increase efficiency and reliability by extending the pipes' service life an additional 50 years."

Recoating the pipeline includes removing the old paint from the exterior and interior of the pipes and safely handling and disposing of it. It is lead-based and the packing associated with the pipes might contain asbestos. Once the coating and packing is safely removed, a new coating and packing will be applied. The recoating work also includes installing ultrasonic flow meters on the pipes to improve water accounting and power plant efficiency.

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