Control requirements for point source dischargers were effective in reducing phosphorus concentrations to the watershed and reservoir.
Wastewater treatment facilities (WWTFs) in the basin provide Total Phosphorus (TP) removal through advanced wastewater treatment processes, followed by direct discharge or further treatment through land application. Some WWTFs are also required to remove total inorganic nitrogen (TIN) to meet permit limits. There are currently five permitted WWTFs in the basin that discharge to Cherry Creek waters. Another, Plum Creek Water Reclamation Authority, is located outside the watershed but applies some of its treated effluent as irrigation water within the watershed. All six of these facilities have TP effluent limits; three have TIN limits as well.
Wastewater and industrial process wastewater sources, as well as reclaimed water treaters, are limited in the amounts of phosphorus they are allowed to discharge to the Cherry Creek Reservoir watershed. Limits contained in the point source discharge permits in the basin effectively reduce nutrient concentrations in the receiving streams. For example, TP discharge limits for WWTFs, which for most dischargers are less than 0.05 mg/L TP as a 30-day average, are significantly less than the flow-weighted TP concentrations currently entering the reservoir from aggregated sources (surface and groundwater inflows, precipitation). Drinking water treatment plant discharges have to meet a phosphorus effluent limit of 0.2 mg/L.
All of the WWTFs in the basin met their total phosphorus discharge limits in 2019. Two of the three WWTFs with total inorganic nitrogen limits on their permits met their TIN discharge limits, (Pinery, and Parker). Stonegate Village exceeded its daily maximum TIN limit of 10 mg/L, on January 3, 2019, with a value of 11 mg/L. The exceedance resulted from an electrical failure. Stonegate immediately contacted their control system integrator and the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) will now initiate an alarm if a similar circumstance occurs. Click here for more information.
* The flow weight avergage concentration must be ≤ 0.005 mg/L TP, divided by the land application return flow factor.
** TP Limit is a 30-day average unless a 90-day average is approved by the Division at the request of the discharger.
*** No TIN permit limit.