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Thursday, February 4, 2021

City sewer system is ready for the ‘Big Game uniflush’

Most people use the bathroom before the Super Bowl, aka the Big Game, kicks off, but what you might not know is that we have the data to back it up.

“We usually see small spikes in flow at the facility just before kickoff and just after halftime,” said Joe Elliott, Chief Plant Operator at the Big Dry Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility. “We’re able to observe these ‘uniflush’ events on our computer system, but it’s not enough to impact the treatment process.”

During last year’s Big Game, wastewater treatment flows increased between 3:30 and 4 p.m. before kickoff at 4:30 p.m. The “uniflush” peak flow happened at 5:15 p.m. during halftime.

The Big Dry Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility, located on Huron Street in northwest Westminster, operates 24 hours a day processing wastewater from roughly 20,000 homes and businesses in the city. With the assistance of several lift stations, wastewater flows by gravity to the facility through a network of 400 miles of sewer pipe that reach as far north as West 148th Avenue and as far south as West 92nd Avenue.

The facility converts an average of 6.5 million gallons of dirty wastewater a day into three beneficial products: clean water for the Big Dry Creek, nutrients that are applied on farmland, and water that is treated further to be reused for irrigation at parks and golf courses during the summer.

A team of nine state-certified Operators run the Big Dry Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility 365 days a year, even during the Big Game. Whether you tune into for the football, commercials or halftime performance, the city’s wastewater treatment system is prepared when you take a quick break.

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