East Cherry Creek Valley Water and Sanitation hopes to tap RO effluent for additional supply

Reverse Osmosis Water Plant
Reverse Osmosis Water Plant

From The Denver Post (Bruce Finley):

East Cherry Creek Valley Water and Sanitation District officials, who serve 55,000 southeast suburban ratepayers, say a high-tech cleaning process to be unveiled Thursday will increase alternative water supplies.

The push to extract drinkable water from salty, chemical-laced waste liquid reflects an increasingly creative scramble along Colorado’s high-growth Front Range.

“We can take that concentrate down further, take more water out of it,” said Matthew Bruff, CEO of Denver-based Altela Inc., which is running a $100,000 pilot project for ECCV.

It’s unclear how much this water will cost, ECCV project manager Chris Douglas said. “But what water is cheap? We’re looking at the total picture of how we can provide water. If we can clean the water in this brine steam, then we don’t have to go out and buy or use as much other water.”

An added stage of treatment at ECCV’s 2-year-old, $30 million plant in Brighton also would reduce the volume of waste that must be pumped down a 10,000-foot disposal well for burial…

Such efforts to clean wastewater for reuse probably will increase around the West, said Laura Belanger, an engineer tracking reuse for Boulder-based Western Resource Advocates, a conservation group.

“We’ve just run out of new water you can divert out of streams and rivers,” Belanger said. “So now we need to be more creative, use water more efficiently.”

The pilot project relies on a machine the size of a shipping container that heats waste and traps condensate.

This produces more drinkable water and a more concentrated waste, more than twice as salty as seawater.

Altela officials said they are seeking Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment certification that their cleaning is sufficient to meet drinking water quality standards.

More water treatment coverage here.

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