Tours of our facilities are a great way to learn about what happens to the water that goes down the drain!
Have you always wanted to learn more about the wastewater treatment process but were afraid to ask? You’re in luck because Metro Water Recovery can help!
Metro invites you to experience the sights and sounds (and smells!) of wastewater treatment. We offer public tours for a variety of groups – including elementary through college-age students, homeschoolers, teachers, science clubs, scouts, senior citizens and more. If you have five or more people, that’s a group tour. Scroll down to make a reservation.
Tour Tuesdays will resume in 2024! Public tours for individuals and small groups are offered on the second Tuesday of the month, April through October, at 10:30 a.m. See the schedule and locations below. Reservations are required.
Second Tuesdays: Robert W. Hite Treatment Facility, Denver (high school age and older)
- April 9
- June 11
- August 13
- October 8
Second Tuesdays: Northern Treatment Plant, Brighton (ages 8 and older)
- May 14
- July 9
- September 10
Make a reservation for a Tuesday tour (individuals and small groups).
Make a reservation for a group tour (five or more).
Request more information about tours.
Providing a safe environment for our visitors is a top priority as groups are escorted through the Robert W. Hite Treatment Facility (RWHTF) in Denver and the Northern Treatment Plant (NTP) in Brighton. As a result, there may be areas unavailable for viewing due to construction or maintenance activity.
On a tour of one of our facilities, you will:
Tours at Metro: Essential Information
Click here to request information or to schedule a tour.
We may photograph or video tours in progress for our own promotional purposes.
Here’s a sneak peek of our tours:
1 The tour begins at the headworks where untreated wastewater (aka influent) enters the facility. The wastewater goes through bar screens to remove objects ranging from children’s toys to false teeth. Wastewater then passes through grit basins and primary clarifiers to remove solid waste.
2 Next, it’s on to aeration basins where millions of microorganisms digest the organic waste remaining in the water. The wastewater then travels to secondary clarifiers where the microorganisms clump together and settle to the bottom. After further processing in anerobic digesters to kill harmful organisms, these solids will go to enrich Colorado farmland. The methane gas generated from the digestion process is used as fuel to power much of our plant operation. Meanwhile, the water moves on to the disinfection process to kill any remaining pathogens.
3 The cleaned water then tumbles over manmade waterfalls called drop structures. This location, called the outfalls, is where the cleaned wastewater (aka effluent) pours into the South Platte River. It’s easy to see the difference between the raw wastewater that came to the facility and the treated water as it leaves.
4 The final stop of the tour takes visitors to the cogeneration building where methane gas from the solid digestion process is used as fuel to make enough electricity to power almost 5,000 homes!
What Can I Expect During the Tour?
Metro provides reasonable accommodations for public programs (including tours and meetings) in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Visitors requiring such accommodations must contact Kelley Merritt at least 14 days in advance of the requested tour.
Outreach and Tour Options
Northern Treatment Plant
Tours available for age 8 and up.
Robert W. Hite Treatment Facility
Tours available for high school age and up.
Virtual Classroom Option
Bring the wastewater plant to your classroom. Conducted virtually by one of our knowledgeable staff, this 30-minute presentation provides an overview of the treatment process and includes a video and time for live interaction and Q&A. Ideal for grades 3-5.
Click here for more information on scheduling a tour or virtual classroom session.