Serving members of Cripple Creek Mountain Estates
The Mountain Mutual Water Company (MMWC) system consists of a water source, a transmission system, and a distribution system to which members' lots are connected. Unlike most municipal type water systems, each member connected to the system furnishes the requisite water storage and pressure maintenance each household needs for common domestic uses. The unique design of this system will be explained as follows (click each item to link to the details):
MMWC's waterworks includes two wells in the Gillette Flats area (a main well installed in the early 1980s and upgraded in 2019), a 250,000 gallon storage tank on the southeast side of Rhyolite Mountain, five other water tanks located in the CCME subdivision that hold between 20,000 and 100,000 gallons each, and over 65 miles of transmission lines and mains.
About 2/3 of MMWC's transmission and distribution lines - most of which were installed in the 1970s - were comprised of 3" diameter schedule 40 PVC (a low pressure and volume capacity) pipe. It has been plagued by frequent failures due to age and its inability to be resilient when exposed to annual freeze/thaw cycles in this climate. MMWC has been in the process of replacing its transmission line with 4"-diameter, high-density polyethylene pipe (HDPE). This is in order to supply its mains with the volume and durability needed to serve CCME's Membership. This replacement plan includes adequate capacity for growth for the forseeable future.
Other improvements have been made to improve the system. Of these, modern metering and monitoring devices of users, tanks, and pipelines have been installed to give more accurate information for the managment of the system. More controls such as valves and pressure reducing valves have been installed to expedite and improve detection of distribution failures. Pump control and chlorination upgrades contribute to reducing operating cost and compliance with quality requirements.
Every member with a home connects to the water system at a tap point along the distribution system (usually in the road near the property). The tap then continues to the property via a metering device before it continues on to the member's cistern. There are requirements for the cisterns that have evolved over time to include pressure reducing and shut-off valves at the cistern's water entry point. Final delivery of water at necessary pressure is provided by the owner's pump and pressure tanks. All the components between the metering device and the member's home are the responsibility of the owner that includes proper cleaning, maintenance, and operation. Guidelines for this maintenance and cleaning are available at the MMWC office and elsewhere on this website. MMWC is responsible for the maintenance of the system to the point at which the member's connection to the metering equipment is made.
Cistern requirements can be downloaded at the "Regulations" webpage or click here.
The alluvial deposits in the West Beaver Creek valley do a fine job of filtering the water. For years, MMWC has operated on a disinfection waiver exempting MMWC from any requirement to treat the water; However, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment implemented regulations that require MMWC to chlorinate the water supply.
MMWC routinely tests its water and reports its results to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. MMWC tests for scores of potential contaminants at the source, most on an annual basis, and a few on a rotating once-every-three-year basis. MMWC also conducts bacteriological testing on a monthly basis by rotating through five different locations along MMWC's distribution system. MMWC's testing shows that the water MMWC obtains from its Gillette wells, and distributes through its transmission and distribution lines, has no materially significant levels of lead or copper. Furthermore, MMWC's distribution system is comprised almost entirely of plastic pipes meaning that they include no lead pipes or lead solder. Nevertheless, pursuant to government regulations, MMWC also conducts annual tests for lead and copper at multiple different home sites -- many of which are fairly old homes. Occasionally -- and especially if the home has been unoccupied, allowing water to sit in the home's water distribution system for a long period of time -- MMWC's tests of these homes reveal slightly elevated levels of copper or lead. This is due to leaching of lead and copper from copper and/or lead pipes and lead solder in some members' homes. MMWC is obligated to report these test results in the annual Consumer Confidence Survey it sends to its members. Annual "Consumer Confidence Reports" (a.k.a. Annual Water Quality Reports). In compliance with EPA regulations, MMWC annually prepares a "Consumer Confidence Report" (CCR) for its customers. The CCR will not be mailed to our customers, but is available upon request and is also available on this website here. For information and frequently asked questions concerning the contents of the CCR, please see the EPA's CCR website.