Metro Wastewater Reclamation District Opens New $417 Million Facility

Photo credit Kuck Mechanical Contractors, L.L.C.

Here’s the release from the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District:

The Metro Wastewater Reclamation District today celebrated the grand opening of its Northern Treatment Plant. Planned since 1982, the new $417 million facility is one of the most advanced in the western United States.

Designed to protect the South Platte River and support rapid community growth, the facility is capable of cleaning 24 million gallons per day and will eventually serve up to 750,000 customers across Aurora, Brighton, Commerce City, Thornton, unincorporated Adams County and Denver.

“By investing in critical infrastructure, we are investing in the future of the communities where we live and work,” said Catherine Gerali, District Manager of the Metro District. “Completion of the Northern Treatment Plant ensures safe, reliable and cost-effective water reclamation for the 1.8 million Coloradans who rely on the essential public service we provide.”

Under Budget and on Schedule
Construction of the Northern Treatment Plant was completed on schedule and the $417 million total program cost was nearly $60 million less than original budget estimates. This includes design and construction of the treatment facilities and a nearly seven-mile pipeline that uses gravity – not pump stations – to transport flow to the plant.

“This is one of the largest progressive design-build municipal water projects ever delivered in the U.S.,” says CH2M Chairman and CEO Jacqueline Hinman. “The innovative delivery process allowed for the greatest level of collaboration with all project stakeholders, while maintaining a keen focus on safety. We applaud the Metro District’s foresight in delivering a technologically advanced treatment facility that will make a great difference in our community, protect our environment and preserve critical water supplies for our growing region.”

A Legacy of Environmental Stewardship
The Northern Treatment Plant strengthens the Metro District’s more than 50-year track record of environmental stewardship. The new facility features the latest proven water reclamation technologies to protect the South Platte River, alongside onsite resource recovery for energy generation and agricultural applications.

“Protecting the environment is the very reason for the Metro District’s existence,” Gerali added. “We were formed in 1961 to clean up the South Platte River and the Northern Treatment Plant strengthens our more than 50-year legacy of environmental stewardship.”

A Community Resource
The Northern Treatment Plant provides community amenities with opportunities for public recreation and education. The facility includes more than a mile of riverside trails and seating around a wetland area. Ultimately, these trails are designed to serve as a connection with a regional trail system that is envisioned to extend from Wyoming to New Mexico. The new facility’s Administration Building includes educational exhibits to inform visitors about how water reclamation protects the South Platte River and benefits the environment.

Facts & Figures

  • The Metro District is the largest water reclamation provider in the Rocky Mountain West, serving about 1.8 million people in a 715 square-mile area.
  • The Northern Treatment Plant is one of the most advanced facilities in the western United States and will eventually serve up to 750,000 customers
  • Every day the District collects and reclaims about 130 million gallons of wastewater – enough to fill nearly 200 Olympic-size swimming pools.
  • For nine months out of the year, roughly 90% of the water in the South Platte River comes from the outfalls of the District’s Robert W. Hite Treatment Facility.
  • The District makes enough energy onsite to power approximately 40% of its Robert W. Hite Treatment Facility using gas produced during the treatment process – that is enough energy to power roughly 5,000 homes.
  • The District owns and operates a 52,000 acre farm in northeast Colorado. We pioneered wastewater resource recovery for agriculture and have grown crops at our METROGRO Farm for 30 years.
  • For more information, please visit the Metro District’s website at http://www.MetroWastewater.com.

    @GreeleyGov: Water & Sewer Annual Summer Tour, June 30, 2017


    Click here to register and read about the event:

    The Greeley Water & Sewer Board invites residents to this year’s facility tour to learn more about how water and sewer is treated, where the water comes from, and the various ways water is used. Residents will tour the Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF) and Boyd Lake facilities and learn about system exchanges, points of diversion, and non-potable systems. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided.

    Those interested in attending should contact Ettie Arnold at 970-350-9812 before June 23. Space is limited.

    Get more information about Greeley’s Water System at http://www.greeleygov.com/water.

    Metro Wastewater doles out “Gold Awards” for compliance

    Robert Hite wastewater treatment plant in Denver.

    From the release from the Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation District:

    Metro Wastewater Reclamation District honored fifteen metro area organizations for perfect compliance with their industrial wastewater discharge permits last week. The following were recognized with Gold Awards for perfect compliance from January through December 2016:

    • Advanced Circuits, Inc.
    • Affiliated Wastewater Environmental Services
    • Airvac Services, Inc.
    • Complete Powder Coating & Paint, Inc.
    • CoorsT ek, Inc.
    • Denver Metal Finishing
    • Finishing Professionals, LLC
    • Goldberg Brothers, Inc.
    • KBP Coil Coaters, Inc.
    • Mid-America Plating, Inc
    • New Mexico Resources, LLC
    • Pepsi Beverages Company
    • Rocky Mountain Bottle Company
    • UniFirst Corporation
    • Wright & McGill Company

    The Metro District issues wastewater discharge permits to these organizations as required by the Clean Water Act. According to Federal Pretreatment Regulations, the Metro District must have an Industrial Pretreatment Program to control the discharge of industrial waste to the sanitary sewer system.

    Today is World Water Day 2017

    World Water Day, on 22 March every year, is about taking action to tackle the water crisis. Today, 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking water contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio.

    The Sustainable Development Goals, launched in 2015, include a target to ensure everyone has access to safe water by 2030, making water a key issue in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty.

    In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated March 22 as World Water Day. World Water Day is coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with governments and partners.

    Find out more about this year’s theme: wastewater.

    Webcast: Stormwater Contaminants of Emerging Concern — @theCWPInc

    Emerging contaminant transport. Graphic via the USGS.

    Click here to register for the webcast from The Center for Watershed Protection. Here’s their pitch:

    Newly recognized contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) include a broad list of synthetic or naturally occurring chemicals (e.g., pharmaceuticals, synthetic fragrances, detergents, disinfectants, plasticizers, preservatives) or any microorganisms that have the potential to cause adverse ecological and(or) human health effects. Advances in our ability to detect and study CECs in the environment have shown that they are widespread throughout the aquatic ecosystem, and some studies are showing adverse impacts to aquatic organisms and public health. While a major source of CECs is POWT discharges, illicit discharges containing sewage into the municipal separate sewer system is a major pathway for CECs to be delivered to urban and suburban stream systems. Illicit discharge detection and elimination (IDDE) systems have the potential to be effective tools to mitigate the effect of CECs on the environment. This webcast focuses on CECs and the potential for IDDE programs to reduce their impacts.

    #AnimasRiver: @EPA — Cement Creek, #GoldKingMine, summer project plan

    From The Durango Herald (Jonathan Romeo):

    At the Animas River Stakeholders Group meeting in Silverton on Thursday, Superfund site project manager Rebecca Thomas told the 20 or so attendees the EPA has laid out a work plan for the summer.

    Thomas said much of the work will be a continuation of last year’s activities, including collecting data and water samples, as well as looking at flow control structures at the Gold King Mine, the site of the EPA-triggered mine spill in August 2015.

    The EPA also will install a pressure gauge system to monitor the bulkhead at the Mogul Mine, adjacent to the Gold King, which are both significant contributors of heavy metals into Cement Creek, a tributary of the Animas River.

    The EPA wants to install a ground monitoring well between the inner and outermost bulkheads at the American Tunnel, the drain for the Sunnyside Mine workings. It’s suspected the American Tunnel’s water level has reached capacity and could be responsible for increased discharges out of adjacent mines, such as the Gold King.

    Thomas said crews will compile more data for the possible closure of the bulkhead at the Red & Bonita Mine, another contributor into Cement Creek. Specifically, EPA wants to better understand the water hydrology of the mine workings.

    As for the EPA’s interim water-treatment plant at Gladstone that treats discharges out of the Gold King Mine, Thomas said the agency is looking at about six sites to store the mine waste.

    “This is increasingly more important for us as we start to run out of room for sludge management (at Gladstone),” Thomas said.

    She said there may be more than one location for the mine waste, and that the agency hopes to have that finalized by May.

    Thomas added that the EPA is planning a few quick-action remediation projects at sites within the Superfund listing where there is an immediate benefit to the environment, water quality and managing adit discharges.

    She said 27 of the 48 sites qualify for early-action remediation, which could include fixing mine waste ponds, remediating waste rock dumps or redirecting clean surface water away from known polluted areas.

    “There’s no way we’re going to get all the work done, but the hope is to get some of the work done,” Thomas said.

    The Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the U.S. Forest Service – all working on the Superfund site – also listed a few projects they have planned for this year.

    Most notably, the BLM has permission to undergo a pilot project with Texas-based Green Age Technologies to test a new treatment on mine wastewater that many in the stakeholders group have said holds promise for low-cost water treatment.

    The BLM and Green Age will spend 21 days treating discharges out of the American Tunnel and Gold King Mine with a technology known as cavitation, which separates metal ions from water.

    The EPA had promised the town of Silverton before the community supported Superfund designation that the agency would embrace new technologies for mine-waste treatment.

    Las Animas councillors approve loans for sewer infrastructure

    sewerusa

    From The Bent County Democrat:

    …the mayor conducted regular business with the passing of a number of resolutions [including]…

    Resolution No. 3-17, a Resolution of the City of Las Animas Sewer Enterprise approving a loan between the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority and the City of Las Animas sewer enterprise in the principal amount of not to exceed $176,000 for the purpose of financing the design and engineering costs relating to improvements to Las Animas wastewater facilities; authorizing the form and execution of a loan agreement and a governmental agency bond evidencing the loan; and prescribing other details in connection therewith; Resolution No. 4-17, a Resolution of the City of Las Animas sewer enterprise approving a loan between the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority and the City of Las Animas sewer enterprise in the principal amount of not to exceed $593,500 for the purpose of financing improvements to Las Animas wastewater facilities; authorizing the form and execution of a loan agreement and a governmental agency bond evidencing the loan; and prescribing other details in connection therewith; Resolution No. 5-17, a Resolution of the city of Las Animas approving a contract with the City of Las Animas Sewer enterprise relating to improvements to the Las Animas Wastewater System and providing for payment for such services and Resolution No. 6-17, a Resolution of the City of Las Animas sewer enterprise approving a contract with the City of Las Animas wastewater system and providing for payment for such services.