Milliken scores $900,000 for water treatment improvements

Milliken Colorado. Photo credit: Jeffrey Beall – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

From The Greeley Tribune (Tyler Silvy):

The state shut down Milliken’s water plant in May 2014 following at least a year of warnings regarding the high-salinity brine water — a product of the town’s drinking water treatment process — the town was discharging into the river.

The town faced fines of up to $10,000 per day, which could have totaled in the millions of dollars, but the fine was reduced to $140,000.

Milliken officials have since spent $400,000 on engineering studies, which helped officials come up with a new process for treating the leftover water. It’s the same process mining companies use, involving a variety of filters to treat the brine water.

It’s a $2.9 million fix, and town officials announced Wednesday the town has received a $900,000 grant from the Department of Local Affairs.

The results, for Milliken, won’t be felt until December at the earliest, and it will put an end to an expensive alternative the town has employed for the past four years…

In the past, Milliken has treated about one-third of its residents’ drinking water, relying on Greeley and Central Weld County Water District for the rest.

The past four years have seen Milliken’s reliance on Greeley and Central Weld increase to make up for the town’s inability to treat its own water, Wiest said.

Wiest wasn’t sure how much more that setup cost Milliken, but he said the town has been paying more for water from the outside suppliers than it would have cost to treat its own.

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