DENVER, Oct. 17 — Oct. 18 marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA established the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters.

 The Metro Wastewater Reclamation District, which treats 130 million gallons of wastewater a day for metropolitan Denver, has been a major part locally of a revitalization of urban waterways that’s taken place since the CWA was enacted in 1972.

The Metro District was established in 1961 to provide secondary wastewater treatment for the metro Denver region. The District’s main treatment plant, the Robert W. Hite Treatment Facility at 6450 York Street, came on line in late 1966. It has undergone continual upgrades since then.

A $211 million upgrade project now underway at the Hite facility to remove ammonia and nitrates from the water Metro discharges to the South Platte River passed the 40-percent-complete stage at the end of September. Construction began in early 2011.

Construction documents show that 45,000 cubic yards of concrete have been placed to date for the South Secondary Improvements Project. This represents approximately 60 percent of the total concrete placement scheduled for the project. In addition, approximately 50 percent of the underground utility work has been completed.

"The project is within its approved budget and is also running approximately two weeks ahead of the early completion schedule," said Director of Engineering Mitch Costanzo.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said, "Today 92 percent of Americans have round-the-clock access to safe, clean drinking water that meets national health standards, and more than two-thirds of America’s assessed waterways meet water quality standards," in a speech at the Water Environment Federation’s annual WEFTEC conference and exposition in New Orleans the first week in October.

"Urban waterways have gone from wastelands to centers of redevelopment and activity, and we have doubled the number of American waters that meet safety standards for swimming and fishing," Jackson said during her presentation.

The predecessor of the CWA was the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, which was enacted in 1948.

2012- Oct 18 MARKS 40 YEARS FOR CWA METRO WASTEWATER UPGRADES PLANT.pdf2012- Oct 18 MARKS 40 YEARS FOR CWA METRO WASTEWATER UPGRADES PLANT.pdf