Introducing Your New Thornton Water Treatment Plant

 In Infrastructure, Water Treatment
Huge green pipes inside the Thornton Water Treatment Plant

The city of Thornton’s new water treatment plant began treating water in September, 2020. Your new Thornton Water Treatment Plant (TWTP) is a state-of-the-art, 20-million gallon per day, facility located at the southeast corner of Thornton Parkway and Washington Street. The TWTP replaced the original Thornton water treatment plant which was constructed in 1955.

The TWTP treats water from Thornton’s Clear Creek and the South Platte River raw water sources and has the capability to treat Thornton’s future water supply from the Cache la Poudre River.

State-of-the-Art Construction & Technology

The TWTP was constructed on a foundation of over 400 drilled piers that ensure the plant won’t have foundational issues in the future. The TWTP was built with efficiency in mind by using gravity to move water through the various treatment processes, which saves energy, money and processing time. “The site slopes from north to south so the treatment processes are able to use gravity, as opposed to pumps, for a more efficient system,” says Thornton Executive Director for Infrastructure, Brett Henry. “The facility and site are also prepped for the addition of a solar power system, which the city hopes to install in 2022.”

The water treatment processes at the plant include ozone and bio-filtration systems, in order to meet all Safe Drinking Water Standards and remove 99% of taste and odor causing compounds found in Thornton’s water sources. “Our ultimate goal is to produce tasteless water,” says Henry, “It sounds funny, but the best tasting water usually is tasteless”.

Investment in the Future

How does Thornton pay for a $90 million water treatment plant? The simple answer is Thornton’s current and future water customers. Monthly water bill payments are used to pay for critical replacements to Thornton’s existing system. New water connection fees that are charged to new homes connecting to Thornton’s system pay for any necessary expansion to the water system. In addition, just like a homeowner, Thornton uses various financing mechanisms to help with cash-flow. The TWTP was financed with water revenue bonds and the debt will be paid back over the next 30 years at a 2.31% interest rate. Water rates are set to ensure that they recover the actual cost of providing service to customers including operating, maintenance and critical capital improvements like the treatment plant.

Visit the City of Thornton’s website for more information.

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