BOISE, Idaho — The City of Boise is working on the beginning stages of a recycled water program as part of an effort to combat drought and a drier climate.
They’re in the research and development stage, as of September 13th, and a panel will help the city move towards pilot programs.
“We’re going to take water that has been used and we are going to clean it to a really really high level and then use it again,” Boise public works spokesperson Natalie Monro said.
She said this water won’t be wastewater from your home, but water that was used in some sort of industrial process. After the water is cleaned, some of it will go back to the industrial buildings it came from and some will go to Boise’s aquifers, adding to the city's water supply.
The Recycled Water Program is part of a larger water renewal plan that the City Council passed October 2020.
“By creating a more resilient source of water, that we’re able to give this water back to industries, that’s all that less water that they have to be pulling out of our potable drinking water supply,” Monro said.
The panel is run by the National Water Research Institute and made up of engineers, scientists and other water experts. They're working on a report to help inform the City's approach.
“They are going to be giving us recommendations on pilot testing, on water quality, on community engagement,” Monro said.
The panel is accepting questions from community members right now. You can submit a question by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The panel asks that you write, "Question for NWRI Boise Panel" in the subject line of the email and include your name, organization you represent and your question in the email.
Monro said there will also be more opportunities to weigh in on the program as it moves forward.
She said the end goal is to be producing recycled water by 2029.
Other cities with recycled water programs include Tucson, Arizona, San Diego, California and the City of Nampa. As we’ve reported, the city received a permit in February 2020 to use recycled water for irrigation and industrial purposes.