Recycled Water

See the City of Boise's innovative water purification process in action at the Advanced Water Treatment Pilot on July 24!

What is Recycled Water?

It's water that is used, purified through advanced water treatment, and used again.

water recycling apparatus

Why recycle water?

Boise’s 2016 Climate Risk Assessment found that six of the eight most significant climate impacts that our community will experience in the next 60 years relate to water. The Recycled Water Program will create resilience against the impacts of drought, population growth and climate change by preserving drinking water and increasing the local groundwater supply.

Where does recycled water come from?

Boise’s recycled water program will purify used water from local businesses and industries who use water for rinsing, washing or cooling equipment and products. Right now, Boise cleans 30 million gallons of water per day and returns it to the Boise River to flow downstream. The new recycled water facility will divert 6 million gallons of used water per day for purification, creating a new, drought-proof water supply.

How will Boise’s recycled water be purified?

The City of Boise is operating the Advanced Water Treatment Pilot to guide the design of the future recycled water facility. At the pilot, we’re testing proven water treatment technologies to determine the best way to produce purified water quality while balancing costs. More than 40,000 samples have been tested from the Advanced Water Treatment Pilot to ensure that the technology produces high water quality. Early results from these samples were presented publicly to a panel of experts for independent review in 2023, and final results will be shared transparently with residents as they become available.

Expert Review of Our Program

Want to dive deeper into recycled water? The City of Boise presented a full technical report to an independent advisory panel from the National Water Research Institute (NWRI) in 2021 and 2023. You can watch videos of the presentations from the City of Boise and read the responses from NWRI in their reports at the links below.

Watch 2023 Review

View 2023 Report

Watch 2021 Review | View 2021 Report

How Will Boise Use Recycled Water?

Boise’s recycled water program is exploring groundwater recharge and industrial reuse.

Groundwater recharge is a reliable, long-term water storage solution supported by Boise residents, where purified water is injected into groundwater for future use while maintaining groundwater quality. The city is currently analyzing potential groundwater recharge locations to learn the best place for recharge.

Groundwater Studies

Studying how purified recycled water may interact with rocks, minerals and the native groundwater to create a recharge system that maintains groundwater quality.

Geologic Testing: Studying the conditions below the surface to learn what types of soil layers there are and how deep the groundwater is.

Hydrogeologic Testing and Modeling: Studying and modeling how long it takes water to filter through the soil and the direction and speed of the groundwater flow to learn how the purified water will mix with the groundwater.

Geochemical Testing: Studying the minerals and metals present in the soil so that we can maintain the water quality in the groundwater.

Diagram of groundwater geology

Industrial reuse replaces the use of drinking water for manufacturing purposes. Industries use water for things like cooling, washing and fabricating products. Using recycled water instead of drinking water for these processes preserves drinking water for drinking. Once we begin producing purified water, businesses and industries can purchase purified water to use for manufacturing.

Where Will Boise Recycle Water?

The Recycled Water Facility will be built in Southeast Boise on a 76-acre parcel at the corner of S. Warehouse Way and E. Freight Street in Boise’s industrial zone, near potential recycled water users. Staff operating the Advanced Water Treatment Pilot are preparing to train the workforce for the future full-scale facility We expect to break ground in 2025 and begin producing purified water in 2029.

Recycled water facility site
Recycled Water Facility site
A man giving a tour of the water treatment pilot to three people

Tour the Advanced Water Treatment Pilot

Come see Boise’s innovative water purification process in action and discover how it will keep water local on a one-hour tour of our pilot facility.

Tour the Pilot

Have a question?

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