Construction of our first facility, the Robert W. Hite Treatment Facility and 50 miles of interceptor sewer lines, began in 1964. The plant began operating in 1966. Scroll through the timeline below to learn more. For a comprehensive history of Metro Water Recovery until 2009, read A 45-Year History by Steve Frank here.
Civic leaders of 13 metropolitan Denver cities signed an historic agreement on May 15, 1961, that created the Metropolitan Denver Sewage Disposal District No. 1.
Central Plant was completed and began accepting test flows from Denver’s North Side Plant late in the year.
The District began conducting research on land application of biosolids. It also established agriculture test plots near Watkins.
Congress passed the far-reaching Clean Water Act, and it was signed into law by then-President Richard Nixon in October.
Metro beneficially recycled biosolids in 1973 by trucking vacuum-filtered sludge cake (about 16% solids) to the old Lowry Bombing Range, spreading the solid material onto the surface to dry and then disking the dried sludge cake into the soil with farm implements. The applied areas were seeded with wheat after adequate dormant time to minimize seed inhibition.
In December, the South Plant went online when flows were directed there for the first time, roughly doubling Metro’s treatment capacity.
Eight new 244,000-cubic-foot anaerobic digesters were completed in 1977 to digest Metro’s sludge.
Metro expanded its role as a regional wastewater treatment agency in 1984 with the completion of much of its $126 million sewer improvements program and the takeover of Denver’s common wastewater facilities.
The Metro District system grew dramatically with the addition of more than 171 miles of interceptors and the Denver Northside Plant primary facilities. Its services were extended to more than 23 local governments, which previously had been served through Denver. These local governments are now referred to as Special Connectors.
With the acquisition of the Denver common system, the District planned to build new primary treatment facilities at its Central Plant to replace the older Denver Northside primary facilities.
The $7.8 million cogeneration facility went online in April.
The industrial waste control (pretreatment) program began.
The Denver Northside Treatment Plant was shut down.
The District reduced costs by switching to applying sludge cake on agricultural land.
The board changed the name of the organization from Metropolitan Denver Sewage Disposal District No. 1 to Metro Wastewater Reclamation District.
The District completed improvements to the Nitrification/Denitrification System and optimized its performance. This $47.2 million system involved extensive modifications to the District’s treatment facilities.
The District adopted e-mail.
The District purchased approximately 36,000 acres of property near Deer Trail, Colorado, adding to the 1993 purchase of 9,900 acres.
Staff implemented the Fixed Asset Replacement Program.
Metro initiated its Comprehensive Planning Program.
For the first time in its 35-year history, Metro’s employees achieved a million man-hours worked without a lost-time accident.
Metro adopted the Service Area Utility Plan to manage the Transmission System. Flows decreased and farming operations took a hit during a historic drought that hit Colorado and the West.
Metro began a major update to South Platte River Water Quality Model to assess impact of in-plant treatment and in-stream improvements.
Metro began using a new, computerized Laboratory Information Management System, called LabWorks. Metro also incorporated geographic information system (GIS) technologies into its systems.
Metro phases out the production of Class A compost and associated buildings are removed. Board of Directors downsized from 67 to 34 members via reapportionment with revision to an establishing statute.
Metro’s Board of Directors approved the Northern Treatment Plant Wastewater Utility Plan.
The Northern Treatment Plant begins operation in Brighton, Colorado.
The Board of Directors adopt the Metro District’s Strategic Plan
Planning begins for the Second Creek Interceptor, a major pipeline that will travel through portions of Adams County, Aurora, Brighton, Commerce City, Denver, and Denver International Airport to be served by the District’s Northern Treatment Plant.
The largest MagPrex phosphorus recovery reactor in the world begins operation at the RWHTF.