Volume No. 18 Issue No. 2 February 2021  

  Cherokee district groundbreaking ceremony

     On Jan. 15, Cherokee Metropolitan District hosted a groundbreaking at its wastewater treatment plant to celebrate new construction for the reverse osmosis filtration system that will improve the quality of effluent discharged from the plant into groundwater.
   Reverse osmosis is a high-density membrane system designed to remove total dissolved solids from the effluent before it is discharged into groundwater. The solids are mostly salts found naturally in the ground and surface and also added through household and commercial use. The solids also include calcium, sodium, sulfate, magnesium, chloride and potassium.
   “We are very excited after years to get this project underway,” said Amy Lathen, general manager of Cherokee. “We make sure we are treating this water very well.” She said the district was concerned about the long-term sustainability of water, and their goal is always clean, safe drinking water and a safe environment. She said after the effluent goes through the reverse osmosis system, it would be safe to drink. She noted the wastewater treatment plant handles 2.5 million gallons a day from around 22,000 customers, including Schriever Air Force Base and Meridian Ranch.
   “I am looking forward to getting started on the project,” said Jeff Munger, engineer for the Cherokee district.
   Munger said their focus is making the existing plant work more efficiently. “We actually are improving the plant and putting in reverse osmosis for slightly more than originally estimated,” he said.
   “We were hired by the community to do the right thing, and I believe we have done it,” said Steve Hasbrouck, president of the Cherokee board of directors. “This will be a unique experience for a whole lot of people,” he said. Hasbrouck compared the project to “the shot heard around the world.”
   A 15,000 square-foot building will be constructed to house the reverse osmosis facility; the completion date for the project is January 2023.
Amy Lathen, left, general manager of Cherokee Metropolitan District, speaks with El Paso County District 2 Commissioner Carrie Geitner at the groundbreaking ceremony for Cherokee’s wastewa- ter treatment plant reverse osmosis facility.
Amy Lathen, general manager of Cherokee Metropolitan District, and Jeff Munger, engineer for the district, address the crowd at the Jan. 15 ground- breaking.
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