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Take a tour of Boise's recycled water plant

Scott Graf
Boise State Public Radio

Boiseans get a chance Monday night to check out one of the city’s latest efforts to adapt to a hotter and drier future brought on by climate change.

In partnership with Micron, the Advanced Water Treatment pilot facility is currently testing five different technologies to scrub industrial wastewater of any chemicals or pollutants so it can be reused.

Boise Public Works Director Steve Burgos explained the concept to Morning Edition host George Prentice last month.

“What we’re trying to do is take all of the used water that comes from homes and industry, we’re starting to try to figure out how can we recycle that for another use locally,” Burgos said.

That could mean simply reusing it for industrial purposes.

But Burgos said the city also wants to treat the water well enough to recharge Boise’s underground aquifers used for drinking water and irrigation.

“By recycling wastewater, in effect, we’re creating a drought-proof water supply,” he said.

That’s important to head off some of the anticipated effects of climate change.

Over the next 60 years, according to the city, moderate to exceptional level droughts are expected to occur far more frequently. Hotter days mean more evaporation, leading to more demand for irrigation as well.

Burgos said the city hopes to have a dedicated facility constructed by 2029. A report from 2020 pegged the price of the facility at $54.9 million.

The public can visit the Advanced Water Treatment pilot facility on Micron’s campus between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Monday night.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

Copyright 2023 Boise State Public Radio

I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season. If you have a tip, please get in touch!

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