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City of Boulder Water Resource Recovery Facility

City of Boulder Water Resource Recovery Facility

The Boulder Water Resource Recovery Facility pdf is designed to treat more than 25 million gallons of wastewater per day in a 20-hour, multi-stage treatment process.

  • Currently, approximately 13 million gallons of wastewater is treated per day and a high-quality effluent (treated wastewater) is returned to Boulder Creek.
  • Wastewater is treated using several different treatment processes, including:
    • physical;
    • microbiological; and
    • chemical;
  • Treatment includes disinfection of harmful bacteria, viruses and protozoa.
  • Many samples are collected and analyzed to ensure that the final discharge is meeting or exceeding the permit that has been issued by the State of Colorado.
  • The City of Boulder is regulated under permit number CO-0024147 issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

The facility essentially recycles used water and returns it to nature by discharging treated wastewater back into Boulder Creek. Class B biosolids are produced following solids treatment, which are land applied on agricultural fields as part of a beneficial reuse program. Biogas generated during solids treatment is captured and used beneficially, as well. 

COVID-19 and Wastewater

The City of Boulder is one of a growing number of municipalities across the state and nation participating in a wastewater surveillance program to learn more about COVID-19 occurrences. In May, the city began analyzing samples of raw wastewater entering the Water Resource Recovery Facility in an effort to detect COVID-19 indicators within our community.

The city has partnered with Biobot Analytics for the sample analysis. Biobot works with cities across the country to develop an early warning system for health departments and communities by analyzing what is in the water. The city is also coordinating with Boulder County Public Health to review the findings and to evaluate trends over time. We have not yet determined how the information will be shared with the community. Refinements in the sampling, testing and reporting methodologies are taking place as experts learn more about this critical issue.

In addition to the program led by Biobot, the city is currently working with a Colorado collaboration group of 15 Colorado utilities (including Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Broomfield, Longmont and Louisville). This group has led discussions with the State Health Department (CDPHE) and local universities on developing an in-state program that will allow more rapid testing results and be more economical.

Boulder Water Resource Recovery Facility Background Information

During the past nine 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.

The city's main Water Quality Laboratory, Industrial Pretreatment Program, and Stormwater Program are also located at the Water Resource Recovery Facility. 

Water Resource Recovery Facility Informational Brochure pdf

Boulder's Wastewater: Past and Present pdf

Inside Boulder Video from 2014, following the September 2013 Flood Event



Dental Amalgam Management
Grease Management
Industrial Pretreatment
Silver Management
Stormwater Quality


Solar Electric System
75th Street Nutrient Compliance Study pdf
Pollutants of Concern


Chris Douville

Email - [email protected]

Phone - 303-413-7340

Address - 4049 N. 75th Street

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