Rocky Flats Plant,
HAER No. CO-83-AF (Rocky Flats Plant, Building 215A)
Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site, Highway 93, Golden, Jefferson
County, Colorado. Building 215A is located in the northwest quadrant of the Rocky Flats
Plant near the west terminus of Central Avenue, north of the Health Physics area.
This building is a secondary contributor to the Rocky Flats Plant
historic district, associated with the U.S. strategy of nuclear military
deterrence during the Cold War, a strategy considered of major importance in preventing
Soviet nuclear attack. Construction on Building 215A began in 1952. This building is the
primary supply for the plant treated water distribution system. The water tower is the
most visible feature of the plant from off site.
Building 215A is a 300,000-gallon elevated tank that receives treated
water from Building 124, the Water Treatment Plant, for site-wide distribution. The tank
is constructed of steel and is supported by a center metal pipe and six metal perimeter
legs. One 700- and two 500-gallon-per-minute pumps deliver water from the clear well in
Building 124 or from Building 215B, the ground-level tank, to the elevated tank. The
elevated tank can be bypassed, and water sent directly to the treated water distribution
system, as demand warrants. An alarm sounds in the Central Alarm Station in Building 121
for low- or high-water levels in the elevated tank.
Building 215A was the primary supply for the treated water distribution system. If the
tank was out of service for any reason, water was supplied to the distribution system by
the three service pumps, drawing from either the clear well or the ground level tank.
At a height of 155 feet, Building 215A is the tallest structure at the plant, and is the
most visible structure from off site. The top of the tower is approximately the same
elevation as Highway 93, which runs to the west of the plant. From the top of the tower,
on a clear day, visibility extends to Limon, Colorado, approximately 90 miles to the east.
Construction on Building 215A began in 1952. The plant's complete water
supply, treatment, storage, and distribution system went into production in 1953 and has
operated on a daily basis ever since. Due to its visibility off site, it is anticipated
that demolition of the water tower will demonstrate progress of the cleanup effort to
United States Department of Energy. Rocky Flats Plant, Interim
Safety Analysis Report (1989), by Rockwell International Energy Systems Group.
Rocky Flats Repository. Golden, Colorado, 1989.
United States Department of Energy. Final Cultural Resources Survey Report (1995), by Science Applications International Corporation. Rocky Flats Repository. Golden,
Web, Dave, employed at the plant since 1977. Personal communication, November 1997.
D. Jayne Aaron, Environmental Designer, engineering-environmental
Management, Inc. (e2M), 1997. Judith Berryman, Ph.D., Archaeologist, e2M,
Index to Photographs
Located in the northwest quadrant of the plant near the west terminus of Central
Avenue, north of the Health Physics area, Golden Vicinity, Jefferson County, Colorado.
Photograph CO-83-AF-1 was taken by DOW Chemical Company in November 1963.
CO-83-AF-1 – View of Building 215A, the water tower, looking west-southwest. Construction on Building 215A began in 1952. The water tower is 155 feet tall and is the tallest structure at the Rocky Flats Plant.