Burns & McDonnell Designs Facility Expansion, Contributing to the Sustainability of Southeast Colorado’s Water Supply
Burns & McDonnell Designs Facility Expansion, Contributing to the Sustainability of Southeast Colorado’s Water Supply
07/18/2023 2 minute read

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — Cherokee Metropolitan District joined Burns & McDonnell and Garney Construction project team members for a ribbon-cutting to celebrate completion of a $45 million design-build wastewater facility project for the Cherokee Metropolitan District in southeast Colorado.

Cherokee Metropolitan District opted for a progressive design-build project delivery approach to implement improvements necessary to remain compliant with its discharge limits. Burns & McDonnell functioned as the designer on the project, while Garney Construction provided construction services. Through a design approach focused on updating and expanding upon the existing infrastructure, project costs were reduced by $6 million.


"The upgraded design of our facility will help us to continue to provide a reliable and sustainable water source for our community, which is essential for our region’s continued growth and prosperity," says Amy Lathen, General Manager for the Cherokee Metropolitan District. “The ribbon-cutting was a great opportunity to showcase the upgraded facility and engage with members of our surrounding communities.”

The 4.8 million-gallon-per-day wastewater treatment facility serves 40,000 customers in the Colorado Springs community and surrounding areas in Colorado. The facility boasts 55 acres of evaporation ponds, a zero liquid discharge design, and a first-of-its-kind wastewater treatment process. The efficiency of this design allows wastewater to be treated using only two of the four existing process trains and safely disposes of the reverse osmosis brine waste through evaporation ponds on the surface, rather than deep well injection.

This is the U.S.’s largest municipal membrane bioreactor (MBR) and high-recovery reverse osmosis (HRRO) treatment plant, and Colorado’s largest municipal MBR.

"The success and innovation of this project are a testament to our partnership with Cherokee Metropolitan District and Garney Construction,” says Zach Herrington, vice president for Burns & McDonnell. “We are proud to have worked on this project and to have contributed to the sustainability and safety of the community’s water supply.”

At the event, the Cherokee Metropolitan District also unveiled a new logo.

About Cherokee Metropolitan District

The Cherokee Metropolitan District (CMD) was originally established in 1957. It is a not-for-profit, quasi-municipal governmental entity that was formed per Title 32 of the Colorado Revised State Statutes. The services provided are primarily water and sanitary sewer operations for Cimarron Hills customers, community parks, golf courses, as well as maintenance of street lighting.

About Burns & McDonnell

Burns & McDonnell is a family of companies bringing together an unmatched team of 13,500 engineers, construction and craft professionals, architects, and more to design and build our critical infrastructure. With an integrated construction and design mindset, we offer full-service capabilities. Founded in 1898 and working from 70 offices globally, Burns & McDonnell is 100% employee-owned. Learn how we are designed to build.

About Garney Construction

Garney Construction is a national leader in water and wastewater construction. Since 1961, we’ve focused on building water and wastewater systems of all sizes for municipal, federal, industrial, and private clients. We specialize in collaborative project delivery solutions, including CMAR and design-build, for our clients nationwide. Building sustainable futures with the world's most precious resources — water and people.