New Santa Rita Water Reclamation Sewage Facility in Durango

The Santa Rita Water Reclamation Facility

The Santa Rita Water Reclamation Facility is finally completed to send cleaner water into the Animas River. The project is running $64.2 million. For the funds required to begin construction on the plant, Durango City Council raises utility rates to pay for this need. Water quality standards were the main reason behind this new pricey project. The new standards call for more nitrogen and phosphorous to be taken out of the water before it reaches circulation to the river. This will enable wildlife to have a greater supply of oxygen due to algae blooms being non-existent. It is a huge overall upgrade for the city because they will not be prevented from getting building permits in the future; If they do not meet specific state guidelines.


The location of the new plant will, of course, be in Santa Rita Park. Adjacent to be exact. This was among 5 sites being examined for possible building costs. The primary reason that the plant was placed here is because of the increased cost that would come with building it in the next best place. It would enact the city to have to spend 19 million more dollars if they wanted the plant to be in a less obstructive place. There is controversy over this subject, but who wants that much tax money deliberately dumped on a location. This isn’t prime living real estate.

Olfactory & Time Issues

On top of that, the city has dedicated six million dollars to smell technology. This will ensure that the oddball location of the plant does not intrude on everyday life more than it must. Using air capturing techniques, the air is cleaned before expelling out of the system. Leaving the public park and beautiful riverside virtually smell free. The city could save thirteen million dollars by sacrificing location and patching up remaining problems with buyable technology. A smart move.

Despite the extended length of this project the Dewberry Engineers who were granted the bid and design privilege; did an excellent job with construction. Things were done correctly and constant updates were being posted to the public informing in almost step by step increments.

Most projects that get delayed heavily aren’t for the best reasons. Most times it can come to the fault of the contractors or corporation hired for the job. In this case, the timeline extension as a result of additional contingencies. Contingencies which would allow for a more durable, long-lasting, piece of facility that will stand exponentially longer than if it had not had the late-requested changes.

The Future of Santa Rita’s Home in Durango

This facility is quite massive while maintaining a very low profile the park will be able to co-exist in its current location. The best part is this following year there are talks about having additional funding to renovate the recreational area within the park. Plus no water leaks!

Whats next?

To recap, The Santa Rita Water Reclamation Facility in Durango has come a long way with multiple roadblocks standing in the way. It was very impressive they could execute such a large-scale operation in such a functional way. Even in the event of multiple city-ordered change orders increasing the budget to an eventual 68 million. This project shows great ambition and force behind the goals set forth for it. Not only will it benefit us, civilians, with further opportunities to live in a growing infrastructural sound community, but more importantly for the wildlife. A great character has been showing with the implementation of this water reclamation facility.

Be sure to read this Activity Guide When Visiting Durango, CO