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City of Boise pilots recycled water program

Posted at 8:43 PM, Jun 28, 2024

BOISE, Idaho — The City of Boise is going green and amid ongoing efforts to lower impacts to the environment.

  • The Advanced Water Treatment Pilot is sampling water from Micron, and purifying the water through a 3 to 5 step process.
  • This Pilot is in line with the City's Water renewal utility plan.
  • In 2029, the city hopes to open the Recycled Water Program.

The pilot program is practicing with industrial water from Micron, in five years they hope to implement their purifying process to different industries in the city. They're working on ways to recycle the city's water.

"We are taking the industrial water from micron their discharge or affluent and we're pumping that water through the pilot and basically purifying that water through anywhere from 3 to 5 process."
Royce Davis Recycled Water Program manager for the City of Boise

This team takes water samples, from Micron's Southeast Boise campus, in the first step of the ultrafiltration process. Basically, the removal of microplastics and dirt, physical things you can see.

"Water comes in from the back of the trailer it goes into these vessels flows up and its pressurized and then we force the water through the filters. we do the exact same thing but on a smaller scale where we make ultrapure water and then we make a little more reverse osmosis concentrate and to get that recovery rate even higher, we send it to stage three.”
Brandon Pechin, operations coordinator for recycle water program

From there the second process begins, reverse osmosis, this part dissolves salt, chemicals and viruses, things you can't see. After stages three, four and five hopefully the water is at its purest. From there, the city takes samples and tests for, well, purity. This recycled water pilot program came out of the city's 2015 water renewal utility plan.

“What we're trying to do is purify the water so we can keep it local and we're going to pursue groundwater recharge and industrial reuse or in the future could be other beneficial use that we can use,”
Royce Davis.

Current capacity keeps the program on Micron's campus, but Boise's long-term goal is to expand to other industries in the city. What I toured was the pilot, but in 2029 not too far down the road from the pilot program, will be the home of the water treatment facility. It’ll be like the pilot but instead of trailers it’ll be 76 acres.