Implementing Improved Water Reuse to Strengthen Environmental Sustainability

Colorado Department of Transportation – Colorado

Testing and implementing a practical sustainability solution to improve water quality and facilitate water reuse

Weaver Consultants Group (WCG) provided practical sustainability solutions to over 45 industrial wastewater treatment systems to help the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) achieve its water quality improvement goals. The CDOT facilities are primarily used for maintenance and truck washing of heavy roadway and snow removal machinery, which produce a challenging mixed waste stream containing oil, grease, fuels, suspended solids, and high salt concentrations. Additionally, these facilities lacked access to municipal infrastructure and relied on water treatment systems to remove contaminants before reuse in their truck washing systems. WCG support included testing, designing, and installing to develop a bespoke and practical sustainability solution. WCG continues to monitor new and existing systems to ensure that sustainable water reuse goals may be achieved.

WCG experts developed solutions to help CDOT implement practical solutions that improved environmental sustainability through industrial wastewater treatment. Site evaluations and system innovations allowed the project to expand and facilitate water reuse at several CDOT sites, increasing the application of sustainable water use. The project demonstrated where WCG’s services had been utilized to assess and practically achieve sustainability improvements and aid in monitoring water quality metrics that could be transferred and applied to future projects to achieve environmental improvements over time.

The evaluation process for more sustainable systems included bench scale testing of raw floor drain water. The results identified that reverse osmosis could efficiently improve water quality for reuse in vehicle cleaning applications. Following a review of the bench scale test, WCG expanded and conducted a multi-site pilot test to assess the treatment capability over multiple days at different facilities, using different influent qualities. To facilitate sustainable water quality improvements for a circular reuse solution, RODI Systems constructed a mobile Reverse Osmosis treatment system, able to produce high-quality water on the same day as arrival on site. The innovative water treatment process efficiently filters water that can be utilized for reuse in different project areas. Continued system improvements and the customized design of the system will allow WCG to adapt this pilot system to many other applications, such as mining wastes, landfill leachate, industrial process wastes, and oil and gas by-products. Through WCG improvements and customized designs, the pilot system has increased applicability for practical water reuse that provides environmental, economic, and social sustainability benefits.