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Santa Rita Water Reclamation Facility



The City of Durango owns, operates, and maintains the Santa Rita Water Reclamation Facility (SRWRF). The SRWRF serves an area that encompasses approximately 6 square miles of the City’s 6.8 square mile region. The SRWRF is located at the back of Santa Rita Park, and discharges to the Animas River. In 2017 the SRWRF underwent a major renovation and was completed in December of 2019. The project was finished on time and under its budget of $62.4 million. The upgrade was required to comply with stricter regulations from CDPHE, and to accommodate the future growth of Durango. Of the $62.4M, about $6 million dollars went into new odor control technology & overall odor reduction. 

  1. Wastewater Treatment Plant

    Physical Address
    105 S. Camino del Rio
    Durango, CO 81303

For information regarding the Water and Sewer rate study please click here. 


The SRWRF treats on average 1.7 million gallons of water per day. The incoming water is rich in nutrients and solids that need to be removed before flowing back into the Animas River. The SRWRF consists of a headworks building, two domed primary clarifiers, 4 aeration basins, 4 secondary clarifiers, UV disinfection, 2 anaerobic digesters, and a dewatering building. On average, 99% of Total Suspended Solids and Carbonaceous Biological Oxygen Demand are removed from the water. Phosphorous and Inorganic Nitrogen Species (ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate) are also removed to a safe level to prevent algae blooms in the Animas River. The treated wastewater is then disinfected with ultraviolet light. The light disrupts the DNA of the E. Coli bacteria so they can’t reproduce. If they can’t reproduce, they can’t make us sick.

Durango Process Drawing-HiRez PDF Opens in new window

For an in-depth look at the wastewater treatment process click on the image above. 

Facility tours

Learn about the journey from wastewater to clean water. Schedule a tour of the Santa Rita Water Reclamation Facility. Tours are available for groups of 5 to 20 people on the last Thursday of each month. Tours are one to one-and-a-half hours and include:   

  • A quick history of the city's water and wastewater systems.
  • An overview of the local area watershed from Silverton to Farmington. 
  • A walkthrough of the facility including the process buildings and aeration basins.
  • Q & A along the way!

To schedule a tour, contact Santa Rita Water Reclamation Facility Manager Joe Wise at (970) 375-4895 or by email.

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