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Recycling Plant sets stage for $6 billion announcement

EPA Administrator visits Denver Water facility to see, learn about innovative approaches to solving future water challenges.

The country’s top official with the Environmental Protection Agency recently paid a visit to Denver Water’s Recycling Plant.

A group of Denver Water personnel provided an overview of the water system and the utility’s long history of excellence in water resource stewardship to Administrator Andrew Wheeler. Then, Plant Supervisor David Brancio gave a tour of the facility near 58th Avenue and York Street. EPA Region 8 Administrator Doug Benevento joined Wheeler for the event.

After the tour, Wheeler held a media availability to announce a new round of funding for the federal Water Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act, known as the WIFIA program. The EPA will be providing $6 billion in loans to leverage $12 billion in infrastructure funding from public and private sources.

On March 29 Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler (center) visited Denver Water's Recycling Plant, along with EPA Region 8 Administrator Doug Benevento (left). Denver Water's Treatment Plant Supervisor David Brancio (second from left), Zack Alabbasi, treatment plant manager, Nicole Poncelet-Johnson, director of water quality and treatment, and Mike King, chief of External Affairs, provided the tour. Photo credit: Denver Water.


“While touring the Denver Water Recycling Plant, I saw firsthand the innovative approaches that communities in the West are taking to solve their water challenges. EPA’s new round of WIFIA financing can provide up to $6 billion for states to use to address their unique water issues, improve public health protections and create jobs,” Wheeler said in a statement after the tour.

There are more than a dozen water recycling programs in Colorado, with Denver Water operating the largest recycled water system in the state. Denver Water's Recycling Plant, which began operating in 2004, treats and delivers billions of gallons of water every year for industrial and outdoor irrigation uses.

Mike King, Denver Water’s chief of External Affairs, participated in the March 29 event and welcomed the visit from top EPA officials to Denver Water’s facilities.

While Denver Water doesn’t typically access the type of funding WIFIA provides, King explained that the utility is always in support of programs that invest in providing a clean and reliable water supply across the county.

“In the semi-arid west, Denver Water has been a leader in investing in ways to make our limited water resources stretch as far as possible for a resilient and reliable water supply in the future, and we were honored to showcase our Recycling Plant as an example of what forward-thinking infrastructure looks like,” King said in a statement following the tour.