The Denver Water Recycling Plant, pictured here, celebrates a decade of service.
Water is a precious resource here in the West, much too precious to use just once. That’s why Denver Water started a program to treat and recycle wastewater. There are more than a dozen wastewater recycling programs in Colorado, and Denver Water operates the largest recycled water system in the state.
And, the system is celebrating a milestone birthday …
Recycled water system celebrates 10 years
By Ann Baker, Denver Water Communications and Marketing
When Denver Water’s recycled water system opened a decade ago, it distributed water through nine miles of pipe to 12 large water users.
Since then, the system has grown seven times that size, sending water through 65 miles of pipe to more than 80 customers, including parks and golf courses, the Denver Zoo, schools, homeowners associations and industrial complexes, and has plans to expand even farther — to Denver International Airport and through central Denver.
Denver Water now supplies about 7,000 acre-feet of recycled water a year, which can be used for irrigation, industrial and commercial operations that do not require drinking water. Once buildout is complete, in the next 10 to 15 years, the recycled water system will deliver 17,500 acre-feet of water each year, freeing up enough drinking water to serve more than 43,000 households.
Each year, the system expands a bit farther. In 2013, Denver Water spent $4.3 million expanding the system, and connecting recycled water to Congress and Cheesman parks, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, as well as to 37 sites in the Montbello and Gateway Park neighborhoods and a few other sites along existing lines.
This year, Denver Water plans to work in areas that have major conduits leading to them but still need smaller distribution lines. That includes areas around Green Valley Ranch and North Stapleton. The cost for expanding the recycled system in 2014 is $1.1 million.
Learn more about recycled water:
- Take a virtual tour of the recycled water treatment process.
- Learn about recycled water quality standards.
Denver Water contracted with experts to evaluate recycled water quality, effects on soil, turf and trees and landscape management solutions. Read through our summary report
and review additional resources
on recycled water and plant life.
Want to know more? Check out the recycled water FAQ
- Watch this video to learn how recycled water is part of Denver Water’s multi-pronged approach to planning for the future: