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February of 2017

16 Aug 2017 12:48 PM | Tyler Eldridge (Administrator)

February 16, 2017

 On January 26, 2017, RMWQAA hosted a free tour of the Leprino Foods Wastewater Treatment Plant. Leprino Foods Company began operations in Greeley, Colorado in 2011, bringing much needed jobs and economic benefits to Weld County. Over 430 people are employed at the factory, which helps make Leprino Foods the largest producer of mozzarella cheese in the world. The entire production supply chain is localized with over 100 semi-truck loads of milk offloaded into the factory each day.


The raw milk that is delivered to the plant is made up of almost 87% water. Much of this water in the milk is removed during evaporation and then condensed into condensate of whey (COW) water. By capturing this COW water, the plant can rely less on municipal water sources and return around 300,000 gallons more water than it takes in on a daily basis back into the Cache la Poudre River.


During the tour, we witnessed some of the by-products of the wastewater treatment process. Dried biosolids were pressed into a cake-like consistency and loaded slowly into large dump trucks which were transported to local farmers to be used as a soil amendment. Construction on a new digester was underway to allow the plant to utilize methane gas to provide energy to the plant.

The tour was a great chance to see different aspects of the wastewater treatment process, including the testing laboratory, and to get a look inside a large and important contributor to our local economy. 

Danny McCausland attended the tour and is the Water Quality Supervisor for GEI's Laboratory. GEI conducts Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) testing, benthic macroinvertebrate identifications, and low level nutrient analysis for Regulation 85 and other local monitoring.


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