Construction wraps up at the South Fort Collins Sanitation District treatment facility - Fort Collins - Loveland Water District

Check out what’s new with wastewater in Fort Collins

Get to know the water reclamation process

There is a lot going on every day behind the scenes at the South Fort Collins Sanitation District (SFCSD). In addition to serving an area encompassing approximately 60 square miles, which includes residents in Fort Collins, Loveland, Timnath, Windsor and Larimer County, we have also been hard at work on updates to our facility.

There are more than 400 miles of collection lines delivering wastewater to the water reclamation facility 24-hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days a year. The current treatment process at the facility can treat 4.5 million gallons of water per day. That is a lot of wastewater!

However, considering every drain inside homes, businesses, schools and restaurants leads to the SFCSD, we are constantly striving to ensure our facility is positioned for future growth, as well as keeping up with changing technology and regulations in the wastewater treatment industry.

The water reclamation facility takes all the wastewater from our service area and treats and discharges it into Fossil Creek Reservoir. The treatment process is aerobic and mimics the natural processes that already exist in lakes and streams, leaving clean water to return to the environment without byproducts. In fact, most people are surprised to learn our treatment process is quite environmentally friendly.

Expanded Scope & Under Budget

Expansion and improvements to the existing wastewater reclamation facility began in 2017 with District management and staff identifying future needs. Jacobs Engineering studied the existing facility and identified the type of expansion needed, creating the design for the project.

The construction and improvements will help the District meet newer, stricter requirements from the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, in addition to providing additional capacity for future growth.

Our new and improved facility will have the ability to produce Class “A” biosolids that are able to be reused and recycled rather than transferred to landfills. The original scope of our approximately $40 million expansion is slated for completion this fall, thanks in large part to our partners: Jacobs Engineering, Inc. and Hydro Construction. There will be a small continuation of the expansion into 2021 as we wrap up smaller projects, and these projects will still fall within our original budget.

It is always great when you are able to complete a project of this magnitude. However, to complete it with an expanded scope and under budget is a real victory for SFCSD and our customers.

Before and After

The big question is “what’s new?” What do the customers of South Fort Collins Sanitation District get out of all this work and investment? The most important outcome for our customers is improved service for the future.

From an additional hydraulic capacity of 1.5 million gallons per day to tighter security measures, here is a list of some of the features the new facility had before and after the construction:

Existing OrbalNEW Step Feed
• Single-pass 3 ring oxidation ditch
• Only able to nitrify
• 4.5 million gallons per day hydraulic capacity
• Limited control through surface aeration
• Reduced mixing with surface aeration
• Lower Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) loading capacity
• Multi-pass system with multiple oxygen environments and internal recycle
• Ability to nitrify and de-nitrify to meet stricter future permit requirements
• 6 million gallon per day hydraulic capacity
• Diffused aeration for expanded control
• Complete mixing with diffused aeration
• Over 12,000 lbs/day of BOD capacity
Existing Solids Handling ProcessesNEW Solids Handling Processes
• Waste holding tank with decant for thickening (limited capacity)
• No current process for digestion limiting us to a landfill or third-party composting for disposal or reuse of biosolids
• Mechanical thickening for expanded holding capacity
• Advanced digestion and volume reduction allowing for unrestricted use of Class A product
• Greatly expanded solids handling capacity
Existing Additional ItemsNEW Systems + Improvements
• UV disinfection system with no redundancy
• Two effluent disc filters
• No current effluent filter backwash discharge line
• Additional UV system for expanded capacity and redundancy
• Additional effluent filter for expanded capacity and increased redundancy
• Effluent filter backwash water discharge line installed
• Additional influent force main for future capacity and redundancy
• Chemical feed station for process control and redundant phosphorus removal
• Additional Clarifier for expanded capacity and redundancy
• Increase in site security

This project has added many major improvements to the plant. While we still have some work to do, we are looking forward to wrapping up the majority of this project in the next couple of months!

For more updates, information and photos on the expansion check out our Plant Expansion page.

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