Betasso Water Treatment Facility

Betasso Water Treatment Plant

Betasso Water Treatment Facility

Constructed in 1962, the Betasso Water Treatment Facility is the City of Boulder’s primary drinking water treatment facility. The conventional surface water treatment plant was designed to produce 40 million gallons per day, but could only reliably produce 28 MGD due to inadequate pretreatment systems and residuals handling system limitations.

The Betasso renovation project restored the facility’s 40 MGD design capacity, prioritized equipment replacement and developed a 20-year capital program for the plant. Since project completion, treatment performance has improved, evidenced by improved basin effluent quality and longer filter runs. These upgrades will keep Betasso in operation, at the designed production capacity, for at least another 20 years.

The revitalized Betasso Water Treatment Facility is proof that rehabilitating old infrastructure can be done economically and efficiently. The project’s $30 million cost was $90 million less expensive than building a new, 40 MGD conventional plant and was constructed quicker. The project will make its mark on residents when an eventual flood, wildfire or heavy snowmelt comes — with a greater ability to treat highly turbid water during these events. Whereas the previous plant was not expected to handle water with turbidities greater than 10 nephelometric turbidity units, the more resilient plant is anticipated to easily handle water in excess of 100 NTU’s.

The on-budget, on-schedule project was completed in February 2019. While going nearly unnoticed by Boulder residents, the facility is now producing the designed water quantity; capable of handling major fluctuations in raw water quality due to wildfire, snowmelt and floods; and will provide a reliable water supply for the next two decades.

Betasso Water Treatment Plant
City of Boulder, Colorado

Boulder, CO
United States

40 MGD


National Recognition Award (2020)
Engineering Excellence Awards
American Council of Engineering Companies
Excellence Award (2020)
Engineering Excellence Awards
American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado
Excellence in Concrete Award (2019)
American Concrete Institute Rocky Mountain Chapter