Special Meeting July 22, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.

NOTICE
Boxelder Sanitation District Board of Directors has cancelled the Regular Board Meeting scheduled for Thursday July 15, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.

A Special Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.

Depending on status of the COVID-19 emergency and health department recommendations, public attendance may be limited. Persons interested in providing public comment should email the office at info@boxeldersanitation.org or call 970-498-0604 for more information.

 

For over 50 years, Boxelder has been here to serve

The history of Boxelder Sanitation District

The concept of “The American West” is something that’s mythologized not just in the United States, but all over the world. Manifest Destiny. The Wild West. People enjoying the beauty from “sea to shining sea,” as it goes. But while western expansion tamed the wild landscape via laid infrastructure like trails then railroad, and soon highways, another type of infrastructure was just as essential to bringing modern populations across the plains: water and sanitation.

Like the Europeans discovered centuries ago, densely populated societies create waste, and if that waste isn’t disposed of properly, society can fall apart very quickly. For an area like Northern Colorado, which has transformed from a once-important trading hub to a highly-populated area of modern commerce, sanitary sewer service is one of the pillars that has supported its growth.

For more than 50 years, Boxelder Sanitation District has acted as a reliable utility to ensure residents of this important area can enjoy clean living in their homes and places of business, while also enjoying clean recreation in the natural areas they love so much.

 

The history of Boxelder Sanitation District

With news reports that Colorado’s population is on track to grow by roughly 2 million people through 2050, it can be hard for new residents in the area to imagine what life must have been like back in the mid-20th century. Quieter in comparison. Maybe a bit slower and simpler if looking through the lens of nostalgic hindsight. But with a population that was quietly ramping up, sewer service was a hot topic for those in the know. That’s why, in the midst of growth, Boxelder Sanitation was formed.

Officially formed in 1965, the Boxelder Sanitation District was created as a Special District under Title 32 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. For the unfamiliar, other special districts also formed by this legislation included fire protection districts, water, health and parks and recreation services—all essential services for the current and future health of area residents.

The District was created by a group of forward-thinking, visionary property owners. These owners saw a need for sanitary sewer services in-and-around the intersection of I-25 and East Mulberry Street, and perhaps understood that the lack of plans to service this area not only caused issues for them at the time but also throttled any progress for future growth.

When the Boxelder Sanitation District was officially formed in 1965, it included less than 100 accounts.

 

The importance of sewer services

Before we jump from 100 accounts in the mid-1960s to Boxelder’s growth (which parallels the area’s growth) let’s take a moment to examine why sanitation and sewer services are so vital.

For anyone who has read up on the history of civilization, played the video game The Sims, or used a toilet, it’s clear that wastewater management and sewer systems are crucial elements to overall sanitation and disease prevention. Here in Northern Colorado, we’re not only gifted with tremendous open natural areas and pristine wildlife beauty, but also incredible water, whether in the stream or tap. Without a proper wastewater treatment system like the one managed by Boxelder, our environment and water supply would quickly become contaminated and spread disease throughout our population.

With the creation of Boxelder Sanitation District in the 1960s, those original 100 accounts became the cornerstone for ensuring this area would have proper wastewater management and clean water for generations to come.

 

The growth of Boxelder and the region

Since the formation of the District in 1965, the population of Northern Colorado has grown at breakneck speed. In 1960, Larimer County had roughly 54,000 residents. According to the most recent annual population estimate from the American Community Survey in 2019, that population clocked in at a whopping 356,899. That type of growth is indicative of the pace of growth Boxelder Sanitation District has experienced, which covers portions of Fort Collins, Windsor, Severance, Timnath and unincorporated areas of Larimer and Weld counties.

The extension of collection lines and treatment plant upgrades required for new development are paid for by developers seeking services under the District’s philosophy that growth pays its way. By operating this way, current Boxelder customers can rest easy knowing that the District keeps them as the number one priority—well, at least tied for number one next to clean wastewater.

 

Boxelder Sanitation District today

As forward-thinking as the original founders of the District were, they couldn’t have imagined how important to the county, and densely populated, this area would one day become. Today, the District maintains 100 miles of sewer lines and treats approximately 1,940,000 gallons of wastewater each day (that’s 700 million gallons a year). The reason why so much water is processed by Boxelder is because each household in the District uses roughly 100 gallons of water per day—that’s a lot of water. Businesses and commercial sites, like our beloved breweries, use even more. In an area where water is such an important and limited commodity, it’s essential that services like Boxelder tend to the treatment of our used water before it’s returned to Boxelder Creek and the Poudre River.

That commitment to the health of residents and the environment has not gone unnoticed. The Boxelder treatment plant has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its ability to treat wastewater. Learn more about that process over at our wastewater treatment page.

 

Clean water for years to come

Wastewater treatment is often considered a silent, yet essential, service for a happy, healthy life and we like to keep it that way. Boxelder customers shouldn’t have to think too hard about their wastewater—with the exception of much-needed and appreciated water conservation practices—because we’re here to make sure wastewater is properly cleaned in order to help maintain our fragile ecosystem. From the 1960s to the 2020s, that mission remains the same—though slightly bigger in scope today.

Meet Kevin Schmitz, one of Boxelder’s best

Kevin Schmitz
Kevin Schmitz
Kevin Schmitz, Boxelder Sanitation District (BSD) pretreatment technician.

On any given day you are likely to find Kevin Schmitz,  Boxelder Sanitation District (BSD) pretreatment technician, keeping a close eye on what goes down the drain. As the front line of defense for BSD’s industrial and commercial customers, Kevin takes his role in keeping dangerous chemicals and contaminants out of the Poudre River seriously.

Keeping the river pristine is a primary goal and of immense value for BSD and Kevin. Having been with BSD for three years, and in his role as a pretreatment technician for one year, Kevin is quick to note that wherever commercial customers deal with chemicals, he will be keeping a close eye to ensure all rules and regulations are followed.

“Everything I do is to ensure the safety and health of the Poudre River,” he said. “I’m the first line of defense against harmful water coming into the Poudre. Our primary objective is to put all treated wastewater in the Poudre cleaner than what is already there.”

In order to do that, Kevin and the team at BSD issue permits to companies enabling them to discharge approved and tested wastewater down the drain, while regulating other companies that have zero discharge permits. A zero discharge permit means that the chemicals produced at the facility must be disposed of properly by taking them offsite and not sending them down the drain.

Kevin, who is often out in the field working hand-in-hand with BSD customers, loves the variety of his job. He gets to be behind the scenes with customers who create everything from lawnmowers to fire trucks – things he never knew went on in Northern Colorado before working at BSD.

“I really enjoy seeing all the amazing stuff that gets built in Fort Collins,” Kevin said. “I had no idea there was such a wide variety of products that get built here; it’s just really cool to see.”

While Kevin and BSD have an Enforcement Response Plan, something BSD worked with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on, they are fortunate in that they don’t have to use it often and that companies in Fort Collins share in BSD’s goal of keeping the Poudre safe.

While Kevin has worked in a lot of jobs, he’s never found one like BSD where the team is so close that they are like family.

Here at BSD, we have a crew full of hardworking team members like Kevin working diligently to ensure that your wastewater needs are met. These are the unsung heroes of BSD – now the next time you see wastewater go down the drain you have a better glimpse into what we do here day-to-day for you.

Boxelder Receives Award for Wastewater Treatment Plant Permit Compliance

NACWA Award

Boxelder Sanitation District (BSD) received a Gold Peak Performance Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) for its excellence in permit compliance in 2019. BSD has a clean water discharge permit through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and had no permit violations in 2019.  It is BSD’s mission to responsibly provide wastewater treatment to protect public health and our Poudre River. The water leaving BSD’s wastewater treatment plant flows immediately into the Boxelder Creek, which flows into the Poudre River.  The District staff operates the treatment plant every day to treat the water to meet or exceed all permit standards assuring compliance.  This award recognizes those efforts.

Who is NACWA?

For more than four decades, NACWA has been the nation’s recognized leader in legislative, regulatory and legal advocacy on the full spectrum of clean water issues, as well as a top technical resource for water management, sustainability and ecosystem protection interests.

The Peak Performance Awards recognizes NACWA member agency facilities for excellence in permit compliance.

NACWA Award

NOTICE OF BUDGET

Notice is hereby given that a proposed budget was submitted on October 15, 2020 to Boxelder Sanitation District for the ensuing year of 2021.  Notice Of Budget

Boxelder monitors wastewater for early COVID-19 detection

As a longstanding member of the community, Boxelder Sanitation District (BSD) does more than just treat wastewater. BSD has a long history of collaboration with municipalities and water entities throughout Northern Colorado, supporting our neighbors in a variety of ways.

Our newest collaboration efforts involve participating in an innovative program to gather data to support state officials in COVID-19 monitoring and tracking.

BSD has joined 17 other wastewater utilities across Colorado, serving 60% of the state’s population, to participate in a COVID-19 wastewater surveillance collaborative funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). BSD is working with Colorado State University (CSU) and Metro State University (MSU) to develop a statewide wastewater surveillance system for testing of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The state has provided $520,000 in funding to ensure facilities such as BSD can provide an early warning, ranging from a matter of days to a week, to state and local health authorities. The system identifies significant changes that could indicate future COVID-19 outbreaks and potential virus hot spots.

Wastewater can tell you what is happening in the population. People with positive COVID-19 shed virus in their stool and the testing can detect traces of the virus. The idea is, if we see an increase in positive test results, it would provide a lead time for the health department and community to respond to a possible outbreak.

BSD is collecting samples from influent wastewater (water that has not yet been treated) twice a week. Those samples are then delivered to CSU for testing to track COVID-19 virus particles. Using that data, they can detect the prevalence of the disease in the community.

How it works

This innovative practice, which is being implemented around the world to detect the coronavirus, involves CDPHE working with wastewater facilities such as BSD to develop a sampling plan that documents where the samples are collected, procedures for collecting and preserving the sample and safety protocols for all employees involved in the process.

Once the samples are collected, CSU and MSU oversee the testing and documentation of the samples to see if COVID-19 is detected. Considering people can be carriers of the disease and not express any symptoms, the ability to detect COVID-19 in human waste is a valuable tool for scientists.

Without BSD’s contribution to this collaborative effort, the datasets would be incomplete and less effective when decision-makers analyze it. The data will not be directly released from BSD and will take time to be gathered as part of the collaborative program.

Future expansion

There is the potential for additional monitoring in the future for the program, depending on the lab’s capacity in the start-up. More monitoring means more data and more data means better-equipped health experts to defend against COVID-19 and other possible pandemics.

BSD is on the front lines of this innovative testing process that could eventually be installed in broader regions or in more specific areas if it is a success.

The possibility exists to institute such monitoring systems in places like care facilities and college dormitories, where there is a dense population of people that could get the disease if it were present.

In other BSD news

This fall BSD is upgrading its accounting software as part of our ongoing commitment of providing outstanding customer service.

As part of the upgrade, customers receiving statements in the mail will notice a few changes to the design of the bill. The new bills are expected to look like the sample shown here.

There will be no changes to the paperless statements provided by Xpress Bill Pay.

Options for paying your bill will remain the same. Customers are encouraged to sign up for automatic payment with Xpress Bill Pay. A link to Xpress is available on our website boxeldersanitation.org.

As always, if you have questions about your bill, please call us at 970-498-0604, or contact us at info@boxeldersanitation.org.

 

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

Notice is hereby given that at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 15, 2020, the Board of Directors of Boxelder Sanitation District will hold a public hearing to consider adopting proposed modifications to the District’s Rules and Regulations, including those pertaining to the Industrial Pretreatment Program.

NOTICE

Boxelder expands to serve customers

Times are changing, and you have to adapt and change to keep up. It’s the same story for Boxelder Sanitation District (BSD). In order to ensure that your wastewater needs are met in an efficient affordable manner, we have to stay ahead of the changes our community is experiencing.

BSD is in the process of expanding its current wastewater treatment plant to meet the growing demand for wastewater treatment as well as changing regulations. With increasingly stringent limitations adopted by the State of Colorado, BSD completed a new treatment facility in 2013.

While this facility continues to perform well, in order to maintain compliance and meet new regulations, a second expansion is required. Construction on the expansion is currently underway and is slated for completion in summer 2021.

The new facility will include:

  • Expanded influent screening, grit removal and pumping
  • New anaerobic selector basin and oxidation ditches for biological nutrient removal
  • New final clarifiers
  • New anaerobic selector digesters
  • New solids handling process facility
  • Expanded and upgraded UV system
  • New wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) operation building

These upgrades and additions are expected to increase operational efficiencies, meet future regulatory demands and accommodate future growth.

Funding for the project

You may wonder who is footing the bill for all of this. Rest easy, growth pays its own way here – there are no new fees to customers.

This expansion is financed by the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority (CWRPDA) State Revolving Fund. The CWRPDA is administered by the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) with joint funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of Colorado.

Project cost breakdown:

  • WWTP construction – $35 million
  • Project loan – $29 million, 30-year, 1.8 percent interest
  • District funds – $6 million from capital revenues from new development
  • Future loan payment support by new development Plant Investment Fee Revenue

What not to flush

We have come a long way from the lagoon system that we started with in 1965, however, as times change so must BSD to ensure that your wastewater needs are met. Help us take care of this new facility by only flushing the three “P’s” down the toilet – pee, poop and toilet paper. Everything else should go in the garbage:

  • Flushable wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Hygiene products
  • Old medication/pills
  • Diapers
  • Dental floss
  • Q-tips/cotton balls
  • Dead goldfish
  • Fats, oils & grease
  • Cigarette butts
  • Hair
  • Gum

Save time, pay online

Did you know that you can save time and pay your bills online? Sign up for Xpress Bill Pay and enjoy the secure and trusted way to pay your BSD bills. Also included when you sign up is a monthly eNewsletter, which includes all the latest news from Boxelder. Sign up now to stay in the know.

We trust Xpress Bill Pay to handle your account because they are the experts. They work closely with cities, governments and businesses across the country to offer you a seamless bill-paying experience. You can access it 24/7 from any device or enroll in automatic payments so you never have to stress missing a payment.

For all the latest BSD updates visit http://boxeldersanitation.org/.