Wastewater: Colorado Springs Utilities is using a UV array to disinfect effluent prior to releases into Fountain Creek


From The Colorado Springs Gazette (John Schroyer)

[Colorado Springs Utilities] had been using UV to help purify wastewater at its J.D. Phillips treatment plant, on the north side of Colorado Springs, since the plant was built in 2007. And the 540-bulb UV purification system there has been working “extremely well,” said plant superintendent William Hoyt.

So Utilities took the next step and built an even bigger UV array in its Las Vegas Street plant, almost twice the size of the one at the Phillips plant. The new 972-bulb system at the plant near Interstate 25 and South Nevada Avenue took a year to construct. The system began operating on Jan. 5, and since then, UV lights have treated an average of 30 million gallons of Colorado Springs wastewater per day, all of which leaves the plant cleaner than ever before. “What we’re putting into the creek, it has less bacteria in it than the creek does,” said Dean Cohrs, the plant’s interim operations supervisor. Specifically, the UV system kills far more E. coli, as per the new regulations, than chemicals ever did…

One of the biggest benefits of the UV purification process for both plants is that it’s astonishingly simple. Water flows into one of three channels at the end of the treatment process, churns in chambers illuminated by five-foot-long ultraviolet lightbulbs, and after a few seconds, is pumped out…

…the enterprise spent just under $13 million for the new UV array, which officials say is well worth the cost because it’s quicker, more environmentally friendly, and safer for employees.

More wastewater coverage here.

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