Regulatory compliance requires meeting the standards of the permits which are issued by the state to the SPWRP for surface water, storm water, air, and land. Our staff works with numerous agencies and other stakeholders in developing protective environmental standards. It is accomplished through policies, strategies, and procedures related to regulatory compliance.
The South Platte Water Renewal facility discharges treated water to its namesake, the South Platte River, which is a major resource and amenity to Colorado’s Front Range. As such, our facility is subject to the requirements of the Federal Clean Water Act.
Most states, including Colorado, have the authority to implement the Clean Water Act requirements through their own water quality standards and permitting programs. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) Water Quality Control Division (WQCD) is responsible for overseeing these programs, which were developed under the Colorado Water Quality Control Act, and must be at least as protective as federal requirements.
The Colorado Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) serves as the state’s water pollution control agency and creates regulations that guide water quality protection requirements. The SPWRP facility is tightly regulated to protect downstream water uses, including water supply, recreation, agriculture, and aquatic life.
WQCC Regulation No. 38 establishes numeric standards for the protection of water uses in the South Platte River Basin. Standards for our stream segment, which is Segment 14 of the Middle South Platte River Basin can be found in Appendix 38-1.
WQCC Regulation No. 61 establishes discharge permit requirements for our facility
WQCC Regulation No. 22 establishes design review requirements for the treatment processes on-site.
Our facility operates under a Colorado Discharge Permit System (CDPS) permit, which is renewed on approximately a 5-year basis. This discharge permit includes stringent numeric limits for a wide range of pollutants to ensure the protection of downstream water quality, even when river flows are very low. The facility removes approximately 99% of total suspended solids and organic matter. We are currently in the initial planning stages to meet more stringent limits for nutrients and temperature to further benefit downstream aquatic life. You can view our recent water quality data in EPA’s ECHO database. Additional water quality data and maps can be found through the Colorado Data Sharing Network website.
SPWRP Permit Documents
Our facility also maintains a CDPS stormwater permit, which requires reporting of quarterly monitoring after precipitation events. It also requires a Stormwater Management Plan that ensures robust spill protection and best management practices on our industrial site. This further protects water quality in the South Platte River from stormwater runoff, which often contains higher levels of pollutants than runoff occurring from natural areas.
Our staff are actively engaged in the water quality community. We work closely with the Water Quality Control Division and stakeholder groups to develop scientifically sound regulations, policy, and guidance to protect our watershed and ensure that we plan for future regulatory changes and funding needs so that we may be responsible to our customers.