Most homeowners are familiar with the in-home portion of their water use, which includes plumbing fixtures and pipe networks. However, many are unfamiliar with what happens to their wastewater after it is flushed or washed down the drain. Wastewater ultimately becomes part of the freshwater supply after a series of treatment steps. This water is eventually used downstream by people, aquatic life, and wildlife, so it must be treated before its release back into local waterways.
Wastewater primarily originates from sinks, tubs, toilets, washing machines and dishwashers that are found in homes and businesses and is conveyed via a collection system. Wastewater originates from sinks, tubs, toilets, washing machines, and dishwashers in homes and businesses and is transported via a collection system. Wastewater treatment facilities (WWTF) are designed to remove organic material, nutrients, and disease-causing organisms prior to releasing the treated water back into natural water bodies.
The District is dedicated to the design and implementation of the best treatment technologies to serve the community and protect water quality. The District operates three WWTFs. These facilities are located in in Vail, Avon, and Edwards. Each WWTF has unique features and treatment processes to help protect water quality, aquatic life, and public health.
The District maintains an Industrial Pretreatment Program to prevent the introduction of certain pollutants into the sewage collection system, which could:
- Interfere with the operation of the sewer system
- Interfere with the operation of our wastewater treatment plants
- Contaminate the environment
- Be incorporated into, and contaminate, the district’s biosolids product
- Pose a special health risk or hazard
Examples of pollutants are metals, corrosives, grease, flammable liquids, solvents and oxygen demanding pollutants. Metals of specific concern and considered toxic to aquatic and human life are silver and mercury. Once released to the environment, silver and mercury can bioaccumulate in fish or be incorporated into biosolids used for fertilizer. Grease from food service businesses and residences can clog sewer lines or sewer mains if not adequately managed with grease traps or other methods. This could result in sewage backups into homes and businesses or sewage overflowing from manholes. Corrosives can cause damage to sewer mains while flammable materials discarded in the sewer system could create a potentially dangerous situation in the sewers or treatment facilities.
The District has worked to educate dentists, hospitals and clinics, photographic studios, and banks about ways to minimize silver from their waste. Dental offices have installed equipment to recycle mercury from dental work. Restaurants have installed and maintained grease traps. Automobile repair shops have solvent recycling programs. To review details of our industrial pretreatment program, please see the Rules and Regulations for Water and Sewer Service or Pollutant Discharge Regulations and Industrial Pretreatment Program.
Grease Management - Businesses producing grease and discharging it to the sewer system are required to install and maintain grease traps. For more information about proper grease management, please contact Customer Service at 970-477-5451.
For information on Corrosives, Flammable Materials, Silver & Mercury Management, and Solvents please contact Eagle County’s household hazardous waste facility. All are required to be disposed of properly.