DENVER, July 15 — The Metro Wastewater Reclamation District Board of Directors approved the 2017 budget at the regular board meeting on June 21, 2016. It includes annual charges for service of $127,006,333 for 2017 – which is two percent higher than 2016. For existing households, this translates to an increase of about 26 cents per month.
Including the two percent increase noted above, the average household in the Metro District’s service area is projected to pay 38 percent less for wastewater treatment in 2017 than those served by comparable utilities around the country.
Annual charges are the fees the Metro District charges metro area cities and sanitation districts for treating wastewater before it is discharged to the South Platte River. Annual charges are based on the amount of wastewater treated and how much pollution must be removed.
To arrive at the annual charges, the board weighs options and determines how best to provide funding to enable the Metro District to meet mandatory regulations in the most cost effective manner possible. To make sure the District is prepared to meet future requirements, it undertakes extensive long-range planning measures. These plans look 10 or even 20 years or more into the future.
Capital costs for a number of projects are driving the budget for the $871 million the Metro District plans to spend through the end of the 2016 – 2026 planning period.
The Metro District’s 715-square-mile service area includes most of the City and County of Denver, as well as parts of Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas, Jefferson, and Weld Counties. The District’s service area encompasses other large municipalities such as the Cities of Arvada, Aurora, Lakewood, Thornton, and parts of Westminster, as well as smaller sanitation districts and industrial clients.
Formed under Colorado law in 1961, the Metro District collects and treats about 130 million gallons of wastewater a day at the Robert W. Hite Treatment Facility five miles northeast of central Denver. The plant is rated for a design flow of 220 million gallons a day (30-day average). It is the largest wastewater treatment facility in the Rocky Mountain West.