blog post photo

Photo: Steve Frank, MWRD


Garney Construction and Wagner Rents workers helped Metro Wastewater Reclamation work crews pump wastewater overflow April 23, after three days of rain and snow in Denver overwhelmed the district’s intake system.


“We had a deluge. Because of all the rain and snow we had, we had more water in the system than what we could handle at once,” said Steve Frank, spokesman with Metro Wastewater.


Garney’s crew helped set up pipes to pump approximately 790,000 gal. of wastewater and stormwater overflowing from two places into a low spot near the South Platte River back into the treatment system. The firm’s crews were already on site, working on the $45-million North Secondary Complex for Metro Wastewater.


At the height of the response, between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Friday, the district had between 70 and 100 people working to stop the overflow, including district employees, Garney crews and people from Wagner Rents, who provided additional pumps.


“It was a workday, and we were fortunate to have a large number of our employees on hand,” said District Manager Catherine R. Gerali. “Their rapid response made all the difference.”


Despite the quick response, some untreated water did flow out into the South Platte River, according to Frank. Metro notified Adams County, the Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment and the EPA. CDPHE officials were on site Friday to observe the district’s actions.


The plant is downstream from metro Denver, on a bend of the South Platte River near Interstate 270. No drinking water for the metro Denver area was affected.


The wastewater plant services 1.5 million people in Denver, Aurora, Wheat Ridge and Arvada. It treats 140 million gal. a day.