TOURS

PNCWA2018 is proud to offer the tours listed below on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of the 2018 Conference. 

Please note that all tours are first come, first served and do not require preregistration. Tours will depart from the E Entrance of Boise Centre on Front Street. The exit is located at the end of the hallway between rooms 110A and 120A. 

 

CITY OF MERIDIAN – WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT

Monday, October 22

The City of Meridian’s wastewater treatment system services a population of over 99,000 with a collections system of more than 400 miles of sewer pipe including 9 lift stations.

The City’s Wastewater Division has 6 operational sections including administration, pretreatment, maintenance, operations, collections, and laboratory.

The City of Meridian’s Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility is designed for Enhanced Biological Nutrient Removal with tertiary treatment. The system is capable of year round biological nutrient removal (BNR) operation for both nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). 

The facility is rated to treat 10.2 million gallons per day (mgd) and approximately 15 mgd peak flows, respectively.  The facility’s average monthly flow in 2017 was 7.4 mgd.

 

2017 Performance Data:

  • Ammonia Nitrogen, Max Day, 9.72 mg/L
  • Total Phosphorus, Annual Avg, 0.72 mg/L
  • Total Nitrogen, Seasonal Avg, 14.04 mg/l

2027 Final Permit Limits:

  • Ammonia Nitrogen, Max Month 0.308  mg/L
  • Total Phosphorus , Max Month, 0 .1 mg/L
  • Total Nitrogen, Seasonal Avg, 15.5   mg/L

The facility produces up to one million gallons of Class A reclaimed water per day. The City’s reuse system services approximately 44 acres of turf and landscape with the City.

The facility discharges to Five Mile Creek which ultimately connects with the Boise River.

The City of Meridian continues to be rated as one of the nation’s fastest growing cities. Growth coupled with increasingly stringent NPDES regulations are major contributing forces driving plant expansion.

The Meridian WRRF is currently undergoing extensive construction projects adding the first phase of treatment projects to meet interim NPDES permit limits at 15 mgd.

The second phase of treatment upgrades will add additional aeration capacity, chemical addition, and advanced filtration to meet the final NPDES permit limits.

 

DIXIE DRAIN PHOSPHOROUS REMOVAL FACILITY                                 

Tuesday, October 23

The Dixie Drain Phosphorus Removal Facility is a precedent-setting and innovative project that will greatly enhance water quality of the Boise and Snake Rivers by removing up to 140 pounds of phosphorus per day from water flowing downstream.

A critical component of the health of the Boise River is its nutrient makeup. One of those nutrients is phosphorus, which at normal levels is a key part of the river’s water quality. However, high amounts of phosphorus can produce algae blooms that have negative impacts on overall water quality, fish and other aquatic animals.

Upcoming regulations will require a 98% reduction in the amount of phosphorus leaving the City of Boise’s treatment facilities into the lower Boise River. Boise is currently making improvements at its facilities to remove about 93% of phosphorus through its treatment plants, which protect the upper stretch of the river. The remaining five percent of phosphorus to be removed would require very expensive modifications to existing city facilities and miss an opportunity to remove great amounts of phosphorus otherwise untouched.

Instead, the City of Boise and its partners devised a ground-breaking approach that would result in even better overall water quality for the Boise and Snake Rivers.

A new phosphorus removal facility was built at Dixie Drain (near the confluence of the Boise and Snake rivers) with the goals of:

  • Improving water quality by removing up to ten tons of phosphorus per year from treated water flowing downstream
  • Proactively meeting upcoming water quality regulations
  • Ensuring the greatest environmental return on investment

Through the treatment efforts both upstream at the existing treatment plants and downstream at Dixie Drain, the overall environmental benefit to the river system is greatly improved.

Outcomes include:

Environmental Return on Investment – For the same cost as upgrading facilities at the existing treatment plants, the Dixie Drain project removes much more phosphorus from the Boise and Snake Rivers.  Essentially, for every pound that is not removed at a treatment facility in Boise, a pound and a half is removed downstream at Dixie Drain.

Phosphorus Otherwise Untouched – Dixie Drain captures ground and surface water flows coming from agriculture operations. These discharges are unregulated and are estimated to contribute up to 40% of the total phosphorus flowing from the Boise and Snake rivers. If it were not for the Dixie Drain project, this significant phosphorus discharge would otherwise remain untouched.

Common Sense Location –  Approximately 80% of the water treated at Boise’s treatment plants is diverted downstream for irrigation. With the Dixie Drain project, the phosphorus is removed at a location where there are no further diversions for irrigation and additional loading of phosphorus.

Added Benefit – In addition to phosphorus being removed from the rivers, sediment levels are also greatly reduced, improving not only river aesthetics, but improving habitat for fish and aquatic life.

Lasting, Innovative, & Vibrant – Lasting environments and vibrant communities will take continued collaboration and innovation. Eight years in the making, Dixie Drain serves as an important milestone and example of what dedication, hard work and partnership can accomplish.

 

HYATT HIDDEN LAKES RESERVE & BOISE WATERSHED

Wednesday, October 24

Hyatt Hidden Lakes Reserve is a 44-acre haven for birds, animals, and people located on the edge of Boise's West Bench featuring trailheads, pathways, and overlook areas.

Former Boise City Council President, Maryanne Jordan, and officials from the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) were joined by members of the Hyatt family for a ribbon cutting ceremony Sept 18, 2012. A generous donation of the 22-acre wetland by the Hyatt family made it possible for the city to purchase another 22 acres in the late 1990s with the goal of preserving open space and providing key habitat for wildlife in West Boise. An adjacent 10-acre parcel was also acquired completing the 54-acre site.

In December 2008, the city of Boise's Public Works Department received a $1.3 million EPA grant to create an innovative stormwater treatment pilot project at the site. Since then, Public Works staff members have been gathering water quality data and developing a plan for treating urban stormwater runoff and re-using the treated stormwater in the existing wetland and wildlife sanctuary.

The project demonstrates appropriate methods for decentralized stormwater treatment using sand filtration technology in addition to construction of vehicle   parking with porous materials that mimic natural hydrologic conditions.

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The Boise WaterShed is located at the West Boise Water Renewal Facility, the Boise WaterShed introduces you 

to water protection and conservation through hands-on exhibits and the largest concentration of public art in the state of Idaho! 

The Boise WaterShed is a partnership between the Boise Public Works Department and the non-profit organization, Boise WaterShed Exhibits, Inc.

River Campus
The 2-acre outdoor River Campus simulates a journey through our watershed from the headwaters to the Snake River using public art and a simulated Boise River water feature in a park-like setting.  Children can crawl through a sewer pipe and make nature art in the nature play pockets within the interactive trail.

Education CenterThe LEED-Certified education center contains more than 15 hands-on exhibits, a library and a theater. Exhibit highlights include a photo booth to capture yourself hovering over a 3D geothermal aquifer and an augmented reality sandbox! 

Events & Activities
The Boise WaterShed offers free, year-round activities and events for all ages. Visitors can explore the education center and adjacent river 

campus during normal business hours. Groups of 10 or more people must make a reservation at least two weeks in advance for free lessons and tours. Lessons are conducted on-site, at the nearby Boise River and ponds, or Hyatt Wetlands.