Drinking Water


SGM’s Drinking Water Team strives to develop safe, reliable, sustainable drinking water systems for the communities in which we work.

Approach and Values

We pursue this mission by delivering responsive, high-quality, best-fit solutions to the challenges of western Colorado water providers. We listen to our clients’ needs and make every effort to understand the big picture and root challenges and concerns. We involve experienced staff early in a project and bring to bear lessons learned as we collaboratively evaluate the best options and consider future needs to ensure that our clients get the “right solution” the first time around! We then engineer the optimal solution that delivers the best design, high-performance, right-priced, operator-friendly facilities.


SGM’s Drinking Water Team offers a full suite of engineering and consulting including:

Facility Planning, Design and Construction

Water Treatment Plants

  • Town of Silt WTP
  • Red Sky Ranch WTP
  • Carbondale Roaring Fork WTP, Nettle Creek WTP
  • Mesa Verde WTP Improvements
  • Saddle Ridge WTP
  • Salida WTP Improvements
  • Rifle GMWTP Chlorine System Improvements
  • Rifle GMWTP Pretreatment Improvements
  • Rifle GMWTP Intake and Raw Water Pump Station
  • Colorado Parks & Wildlife – Rifle Gap SP WTP Improvements
  • Colorado Parks & Wildlife – Navajo State Park Water Treatment Alternatives Analysis and WTP Design
  • Aspen East and West WTP Improvements – 8 MGD
  • Glenwood Springs Red Mountain WTP Improvements – 8 MGD
  • Rifle Beaver Creek WTP
  • Rangely WTP Expansion
  • Durango College Mesa WTP Residuals Management Plan
  • ERWSD Avon Drinking Water Facility Improvements
  • Ute Water Treatment Plant Filters 1 & 2 Rehabilitation, Treatment Plant Clearwell Study
  • Town of Eagle Lower Basin WTP
  • Granby South Service Area WTP

Wells and Wellhouses

Distribution System Infrastructure

Water Treatment Process Testing, Modeling and Evaluation
  • USEPA DBP Comprehensive Performance Evaluation Protocol Development
  • Red Sky Ranch WTP
  • Mesa Verde WTP
  • Carbondale Roaring Fork WTP
  • City of Rifle Water Quality Improvement Project
  • City of Craig WTP – Coagulation and Distribution System WQ Testing & Evaluation

SGM owns and maintains our own jar testing and laboratory equipment to assist in WTP process modeling & evaluations.

Water Treatment Plant and Water System Optimization
  • New Castle Water Treatment Plant Optimization Study
  • Rifle Beaver Creek WTP Improvements
  • Colorado State Parks Rifle Gap SP WTP Improvements
  • Rifle GMWTP Pretreatment Improvements
  • USEPA DBP Comprehensive Performance Evaluation Protocol Development
  • Snowmass Water & Sanitation District – WTP Performance Optimization
Regulatory Compliance Planning and Assistance

SGM staff members have very strong working relationships with CDPHE Water Quality Control Division regulators. We have a consistent record of obtaining quick, first-time-through design approvals and regularly receive very positive performance feedback. We have also obtained CDPHE Potable Water System Construction of Approval (COA) for numerous small client-led design-build improvement projects. Regulatory compliance planning is standard in our approach to water treatment facility planning and water system master planning.

  • Full-scale piloting and test plan approval for:
    • City of Craig Coagulation Evaluation
    • Snowmass W&SD WTP Performance Optimization
  • Colorado Parks & Wildlife Rifle Gap SP Brine Ponds Approval
  • Mt. Princeton HOA Fluoride Compliance Program
  • City of Rifle RO Brine Discharge Approval
  • Stage 2 D/DBP Rule Initial Distribution System Evaluation (IDSE) monitoring plan preparation for:
    • Eagle River Water and Sanitation District
    • Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority
    • City of Rifle
    • Town of Rangely
Water Quality Testing

We routinely recommend and coordinate appropriate sampling and analysis programs implemented by client staff members or subcontractors to support treatment and compliance project work.

Water Distribution System Analysis and Modeling
  • Detailed hydraulic simulations are standard for our water system master planning and distribution system design projects
  • We use the latest versions of distribution network modeling software (WaterCAD, Innovyze) of both commercially available
  • We are well-versed in the application of both static and dynamic simulations for planning, design, operations and water quality analyses
  • We strive to find solutions that balance distribution water quality and water storage needs
  • We use hydraulic models to design distribution system flushing programs (conventional and UDF) for water quality optimization
  • We maintain, update, field test, calibrate and run water distribution system hydraulic models for many of our municipal and district clients
  • We maintain our own hydrant flow testing equipment capable of attaching to both 2-1/2″ and 4-1/2″ hydrant nozzles
Water System Master Planning
  • Vail Water Master Plan
  • UERWA Water Master Plan
  • Rifle Water Master Plan
  • Skyland Metro District Water Master Plan
  • Buena Vista Water Master Plan
Capital Improvement Plan Development
  • We regularly develop water CIPs for the clients of whom SGM serves as the official Engineer of Record
  • We often provide water CIP development assistance as follow-on work to our water infrastructure master planning projects
  • In developing CIPs, we strive for a balance between constructing projects comfortably in advance of regulations and growth and constructing projects earlier than is fiscally responsible or feasible
  • We carefully consider funding and construction timelines
Water Conservation & Efficiency Planning
Water Rate Studies
  • We regularly assist the clients for whom we serve as the Engineer of Record in developing or updating water rate/fee schedules
  • Though each utility’s situation and goals are unique, we often advise clients to implement inclining block rate or other “conservation-oriented” rate schedules to encourage wise resource use and control infrastructure costs
  • We encourage utilities to implement full-cost pricing for long-term financial sustainability and reduced reliance on outside funding for mission-critical improvements

Recent rate studies include:

  • Town of Basalt
  • Town of Carbondale
  • Town of Eagle
  • Mid Valley Metropolitan District
  • Powderhorn
  • Snowmass Water & Sanitation District
  • Sopris Village Home Owners Association
  • Roaring Fork Water and Sanitation District
Water Utility Branding and Community Outreach Assistance
  • Water Utility Branding garners community support for appropriate investment in water and wastewater infrastructure to achieve long-term system sustainability
  • Water Utility Branding is based on:
    • effective, efficient communications with customers
    • favorably increasing a utility’s visibility in the community
    • establishing community trust in the utility enterprise
    • high utility performance and great client service
    • “living” other utility-specific goals/values
  • We partner with John Ruetten, a water/wastewater utility branding expert, of Resource Trends and founder of the Utility Branding Network to bring customized utility branding planning, training and support services to our small system clientele
  • Clients include:
    • Rifle Utility Branding Consulting
    • Snowmass W&SD
    • Town of Eagle
Review of New Development Water Systems
  • We routinely evaluate developer-proposed water system extensions for clients where SGM serves as the Engineer of Record
  • We are strong, successful advocates for our clients in this process
  • We push the development community to construct infrastructure in the same way water utilities do; we provide strong technical rationale to advocate for safe, reliable, accessible, enduring, operator-considerate infrastructure that maintains high water quality and that fits with the community’s character
Funding Acquisition Support / Grant Writing

SGM regularly assists many of its clients in the acquisition of grants and low-interest loans from:

  • Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART grants
  • Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA)
  • Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB)
  • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)
  • USDA Rural Development Assistance Program
  • Colorado River Water Conservation District (CRWCD)
  • Other state, federal and non-profit entities


Below is a representative sample of our clients throughout Colorado:

  • City of Aspen
  • City of Craig
  • City of Durango
  • City of Glenwood Springs
  • City of Rifle
  • Colorado Parks & Wildlife
  • Eagle River Water & Sanitation District / Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority
  • Mid-Valley Metropolitan District
  • Mt. Crested Butte Water & Sanitation
  • National Park Service
  • Ranch at Roaring Fork Homeowners Association
  • Roaring Fork Water & Sanitation District
  • Skyland Metropolitan District
  • Snowmass Water & Sanitation District
  • Town of Eagle
  • Town of Silt
  • Town of New Castle
  • Town of Carbondale
  • Town of Basalt
  • Town of Rangely
  • Town of Granby
  • Ute Water Conservancy District
  • Vail Resorts

Meet the Drinking Water Team

For more information about our Drinking Water services, please contact Chad Hill by email or phone at 970.384.9020.

  • Chad Hill, PE
    Chad Hill, PE Drinking Water Team Lead, Durango
  • Christina Pearson
    Christina Pearson Engineer II, Glenwood Springs
  • Justin Kattnig, PE
    Justin Kattnig, PE Engineer, Glenwood Springs
  • Mahalie Hill
    Mahalie Hill Engineer, Durango

Supporting Resources

The Drinking Water Team routinely integrates SGM Water Resources, Wastewater, Watershed Consulting, Structural, Survey, and CAD Production Teams staff members into its project teams. In addition, several of SGM’s principals bring to bear many decades of municipal drinking water consulting experience, routinely serving as senior project advisors/reviewers. Having in-house electrical and mechanical engineers, in addition to long-standing relationships with several experienced geotechnical and instrumentation/control consultants, rounds-out our ability to produce complete engineering solutions.

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