Homepage > Residents > Water > Wastewater Collection > Big Dry Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility

Big Dry Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility

photo credit

The Journey of Wastewater 

After leaving your house, wastewater travels through the City’s collection system via its own set of pipes—which your drinking water never goes through. The wastewater will be cleaned at one of two treatment plants. The Big Dry Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility, located in the northeast corner of the city, serves about two thirds of our community. As for southern residents, Westminster partners with the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District to treat wastewater from their homes and businesses. 

We can’t just dump wastewater out into the wild—not only is it illegal, it’s also unsanitary. Instead, our crews must clean the wastewater before releasing it back into local streams. The federal Clean Water Act sets water quality standards that every community must meet before releasing treated wastewater back to the environment. Westminster’s permit contains limits on temperature, copper, mercury, E.coli, pH and many other parameters. 

Here’s something that’s pretty cool about our Big Dry Creek treatment plant: “bugs” work alongside humans to clean the water. Instead of using chemicals to treat our wastewater, we use an entirely biological treatment process. Special bacteria feed on nutrients in the wastewater and remove them. This treatment process would occur naturally, but much more slowly, so the primary job of the treatment plant operators is to make sure these “bugs” are as happy as can be. This means maintaining the optimal amount of food (wastewater), shelter (warm tanks) and air (lots of extra bubbles) for the bacteria to act like it’s Thanksgiving every day of the year. 

The full treatment process creates clean water and biosolids. It takes about 12-18 hours for a gallon of raw sewage to come into the Big Dry Creek treatment plant, get cleaned up and released for another use. 

In short: the facility converts wastewater into three beneficial products:  

  • Clean water for the Big Dry Creek 
  • Nutrients that are applied on farmland 
  • Water that is treated further to be reused for irrigation at parks and golf courses during the summer 

Fast Facts About the Big Dry Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility (BDCWWT) 

  • Located at 132nd Avenue and Huron Street 
  • Treats an average of 7 million gallons of wastewater per day 
  • Wastewater comes from the northern two-thirds of the city 
  • “Bugs”-- a form of bacteria—help clean the water 
  • Biosolids, a byproduct of the cleaning process, are used as fertilizer on certain farms in eastern Colorado 


  • The Big Dry Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility Solids Dewatering Project was given the Envision Bronze Award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). ISI gave the following statement about this award, "The purpose of Envision® is to foster a dramatic and necessary improvement in the sustainable performance and resiliency of infrastructure. Your significant achievement indicates that the Westminster BDCWWTF Solids Dewatering and Campus Wide Improvements project has gone above and beyond to deliver improvements in the social, economic, and environmental conditions of its community." 
  • Honor Award (2023) I Engineering Excellence Awards I American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado 


If you have questions about Wastewater Collections or need to report an issue, please call (303) 658-2500. You can also submit a service request through Access Westminster