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Burns & McDonnell Designs Facility Expansion, Contributing to the Sustainability of Southeast Colorado’s Water Supply

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — Cherokee Metropolitan District joined Burns & McDonnell and Garney Construction project team members for a ribbon-cutting to celebrate completion of a $45 million design-build wastewater facility project for the Cherokee Metropolitan District in southeast Colorado.

Cherokee Metropolitan District opted for a progressive design-build project delivery approach to implement improvements necessary to remain compliant with its discharge limits. Burns & McDonnell functioned as the designer on the project, while Garney Construction provided construction services. Through a design approach focused on updating and expanding upon the existing infrastructure, project costs were reduced by $6 million.

"The upgraded design of our facility will help us to continue to provide a reliable and sustainable water source for our community, which is essential for our region’s continued growth and prosperity," said Amy Lathen, General Manager for the Cherokee Metropolitan District. “The ribbon-cutting was a great opportunity to showcase the upgraded facility and engage with members of our surrounding communities.”

The 4.8 million-gallon-per-day wastewater treatment facility serves 40,000 customers in the Colorado Springs community and surrounding areas in Colorado. The facility has 55 acres of evaporation ponds, a zero liquid discharge design, and a first-of-its-kind wastewater treatment process. The efficiency of this design allows wastewater to be treated using only two of the four existing process trains and safely disposes of the reverse osmosis brine waste through evaporation ponds on the surface, rather than deep well injection.

This is the U.S.’s largest municipal membrane bioreactor (MBR) and high-recovery reverse osmosis (HRRO) treatment plant, and Colorado’s largest municipal MBR.

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"The success and innovation of this project are a testament to our partnership with Cherokee Metropolitan District and Garney Construction,” said Zach Herrington, Vice President for Burns & McDonnell. “We are proud to have worked on this project and to have contributed to the sustainability and safety of the community’s water supply.”

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