Recycled effluent used for recharge

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Recycling effluent as a potable water source is gaining momentum here in Colorado. Aurora has its Prairie Waters Project. Here’s an article about the Cherokee Metropolitan District’s plans to use effluent for aquifer recharge, from the Associated Press via CBS4Denver.com:

By 2008, farmers, ranchers, cities and homeowners drilled more wells in El Paso County than anywhere else in the state — 19,919, about two-thirds of which are residential wells, according to the Colorado Division of Water Resources. State water engineer Dick Wolfe said studies show the aquifers have been depleted by up to 50 feet in places…

Cherokee Metropolitan District is looking at recharging supplies. It is building 11 storage basins south of Ellicott to hold treated wastewater as it filters into the shallow alluvium aquifer. As it percolates through the soil and blends with virgin groundwater, the treated water will be purified and again pumped, chlorinated and delivered to 8,000 homes and 450 businesses, said Cherokee Metro District manager Kip Petersen. “It doesn’t replace new water,” he said, “but it allows us to extend our use.” A wastewater treatment plant that is under construction is expected to go into service next year. Most required permits from the Colorado Public Health and Environment Department have been issued, said Water Quality Division spokesman Steve Gunderson. Customers often say, “I’m going to be drinking what?” But Petersen said the engineering is already is at work in California and Phoenix.

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