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Tower of Fort Lupton

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Landmark falls for scrap, obsolesced by aquifer changes

By Gene Sears

A familiar landmark from the city’s past is no more, with the removal of the historic water tower at Aristocrat Acres.
    A fixture in the development since 1973, the tower stood for decades near city hall in Fort Lupton, first erected in 1911. The tank went to Aristocrat after becoming obsolete as the city modernized their water system.

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    Part of an $184,000 water system project for the development, purchasing the tower cost the Aristocrat Ranchettes Water Project some $21,000, including reassembly on site, with another $110,000 dedicated to the rest of the system. To buy into the water system cost each property owner a tap fee of $250, a bargain for the families who previously hauled water the five miles from town over an 11-year period since the development started.
    Now the tower is gone, fallen from use for more than a decade. According to ARWP system operator Harold Leggett, Aristocrat now draws water from the Central Weld County Water District, using line pressure for residential use and obsolescing the tower once and for all. ARWP, originally drawing from the Laramie-Fox Hills aquifer, looked for another source as the brine content in the water rose.
    “It started turning salty, and they couldn’t pump enough water to supply people out here so they went to Central Weld,” Leggett said. “Laramie-Fox Hill is a slow replacement aquifer, so it was like we were mining water. Once we got low enough, it started pulling in the salty outlying water.”