Metro Denver area reuse and wastewater projects update

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From The Denver Post (Bruce Finley):

The projects are driven by scarcity — the growing difficulty of drawing sufficient new supplies from mountain snowpack — and by rapid depletion of groundwater wells that some metro residents rely on. Water providers say they also increasingly are detecting new contaminants, such as pharmaceutical residues from birth-control pills, cosmetics and antidepressants, that they anticipate might have to be removed. “We’re preparing for the future. There’s still expected to be a lot of growth along Colorado’s Front Range. That’s what these plants are for,” said Steve Witter, water resources manager for the Arapahoe County Water and Wastewater Authority…

At the end of June, Arapahoe County and Cottonwood water authorities activated a $30 million purification plant serving residents of the southeastern metro area. Many now receive water purified using membrane and reverse-osmosis filtering, chemicals (hydrogen peroxide and chlorine) and ultraviolet light…

This fall, Aurora’s $659 million “prairie waters” system is expected to start treating South Platte River water that otherwise would not be diverted. Aurora raised water prices (bills now average $75, up from $35), tripled tap fees and issued $450 million in bonds to pay for the project…

Parker water authorities are developing a large reservoir and are hunting for water to fill it and also designing a $50 million treatment plant, said Jim Nikkel, assistant manager of the Parker Water and Sanitation District. The plant will filter up to 10 million gallons a day, he said, and will be useful in shifting away from reliance on wells.

East Cherry Creek Valley water authorities are planning a $30 million treatment plant, using reverse-osmosis and ultraviolet methods, to sustain their 50,000 metro-area customers.

More reuse coverage here.

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