Boise's Water Future

As the fastest growing city in the country, protecting our natural resources is vital to maintaining our livability. From homes to businesses, the amount of water we use each day is significant. Anytime residents are done using water and sending it on its way (think flushing the toilet or putting it down the drain), it goes to one of Boise’s two Water Renewal Facilities (wastewater treatment plants). The City of Boise treats 10 billion gallons of used water each year.

Aerial shot of water renewal facility
Boise's Water Renewal Facility

We Need to Plan for the Future

The city, along with residents and business leaders, are planning for Boise’s water future by developing an innovative long-range plan that will balance Boise’s environmental, financial and community needs as we determine how to treat and renew the water our community uses.

The plan will identify the best way for Boise to recover potential resources – including water, energy, and fertilizer – and a sustainable strategy to get there. The City of Boise has made significant investments in used water collection, management and reuse. The plan will create a roadmap outlining how we direct future investment over the next 30 years.

What Happens to Water When You're Done Using It

Water doesn’t just travel through your pipes and disappear. The city has over 900 miles of pipe running throughout the community. If you laid all the pipe out in a straight line, it would stretch from Boise to San Diego. These pipes carry used water and other resources from homes and businesses to the city’s two water renewal facilities. At these facilities, the water goes through an extensive, multi-step process to ensure it is safe and clean before being put into the river.

Thoroughly treating the water our community uses is paramount. Yet, simply cleaning the water and putting it into the river is a missed opportunity. Water, even after we’ve used it, is a community resource. Did you know we can harvest minerals from used water to produce fertilizer, capture natural gas and turn into energy, and utilize carbon and nutrients to help grow crops? The extent to which we take advantage of these opportunities is up to the community.

Who Cleans All That Water?

Within the City of Boise’s Public Works Department, Water Renewal Services is the utility that treats every drop of used water before it is released into the Boise River. Every day, Water Renewal Services preserves the health and safety of our community, allows Boise businesses to thrive and turns materials once thought of as waste into valuable products.

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