The Boulder Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF) is designed to treat 25 million gallons of wastewater per day using a multi-stage treatment process. The WRRF cleans sewer discharged water to permitted standards or better and afterwards returns water to Boulder Creek in as clean a state as is possible by the WRRF treatment system.
Solids removed during treatment are used to produce Class B biosolids that are land applied on agricultural fields as part of a beneficial reuse program. Biogas is also generated during solids treatment and is further cleaned via a state-of-the-art process that produces a methane rich-biogas that can be injected onto the natural gas grid where it is purchased by Western Disposal Services or could be used at the WRRF to meet heating needs.
- Currently, approximately 13 million gallons of wastewater is treated per day and a high-quality effluent (treated wastewater) is returned to Boulder Creek.
- Water resource recovery is carried out using state-of-the-art processes, including:
- Physical separation;
- Microbiological nutrient removal; and
- Ultra-violet (UV) light disinfection.
- Treatment concludes with disinfection of harmful bacteria, viruses and protozoa.
- Rigorous sample collection and analysis occurs daily to ensure that the final discharge is meeting or exceeding the discharge permit that has been issued by the State of Colorado.
- The City of Boulder is regulated under the National Pollution Discharge and Elimination System (NPDES) permit number CO-0024147 as issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).
During the past 10 years, the one-megawatt solar photovoltaic system at the Water Resource Recovery Facility has generated more than 13 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, saving utility ratepayers more than $500,000. The system began generating clean, renewable power in August 2010 and has operated efficiently and reliably ever since, producing about 14 percent of the facility’s annual power needs. In 2020, a second Solar PV system was added to the WRRF campus. The new 500-kW rated system further expands the renewable source power profile and reduces dependence on the electric grid.