Snowmass sporting a new million-gallon water tank |

Snowmass sporting a new million-gallon water tank

Katie Redding
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

SNOWMASS VILLAGE ” One of the many improvements at Snowmass Mountain won’t even be noticed by the flood of skiers this weekend ” they’ll be skiing right over it.

This summer, Base Village developer Related WestPac installed a million-gal­lon water tank underneath Lower Bonsai Run, near the Spider Sabich ski area. The tank ensures there is enough water for fire protection on the northern side of Snowmass Village, said Related WestPac Land Development Manager Mak Keeling.

Based on the size of Base Village, the International Fire Code required a 700,000-gallon tank nearby, said Snowmass-Wildcat Fire District Marshall and Deputy Chief John Mele. He expected the additional volume might eventu­ally be used to mitigate additional Related WestPac development in Base Village. Related WestPac began the project on April 16, with the help of Aspen Skiing Co. snowcats that cleared the remaining snow from the ski hill. Soon, workers were digging what Keeling called “a crater” in the ski hill.

“It was a pretty interesting project,” said Keeling. “We had a 40-foot deep hole the majority of the summer.”

After the hole was dug, workers laid a foundation, and then built the entire tank on site. The tank took four months to build and two weeks to bury, said Keeling.

One of the biggest challenges, said Keeling, was coordinating with Skico, which simultaneously was putting in the Sheer Bliss lift and the Sam’s Knob Smokehouse. The two companies both had to truck their building materials up and down the same dirt road, said Keeling, requiring “big-time coordination.”

“It isn’t Highway 82,” he said, wryly.

By early October, the tank was covered and filled, said Keeling. The water comes from rights the Snowmass Water and Sanitation District already has, he added.

“They’ve got more rights than they do capacity,” he said.

“It is a really nice tank,” said Mele. “It’s definitely an infrastructure that Snow­mass can use.”

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