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Water Environment Research Foundation Honors Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation District in Denver with Award for Excellence in Innovation

(ALEXANDRIA, Va.) — The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) honored the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District in Denver (Denver-MWRD) with its Award for Excellence in Innovation for advancing a new technology at their Robert W. Hite Treatment Facility. Denver-MWRD received the award for its collaboration with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (Chicago-MWRD) to explore and evaluate a shortcut in the wastewater treatment process. 

The WERF Award for Excellence in Innovation recognizes organizations that have made improvements to wastewater and stormwater collection, storage or treatment operations, facilities, or processes by applying WERF research. Denver-MWRD is one of four organizations to receive the award this year. 

Both Denver-MWRD and Chicago-MWRD are members of LIFT, a joint Water Environment Federation/WERF initiative designed to help move innovation into practice in the wastewater industry. Through the LIFT program, Denver-MWRD and Chicago-MWRD identified that they were both piloting new technologies to provide a shortcut in the wastewater treatment process. The facilities worked together to align efforts and leverage benefits from each other’s studies. 

Through shared participation in the studies, both utilities were able to reduce research costs and stretch resources while accelerating the rate of understanding, building of confidence, and implementation of new technologies. This joint research approach allowed both utilities to realize the benefits of research and new technology on an accelerated basis.

A team of WERF volunteers, who themselves are some of the most recognized individuals in the water quality industry, selected the recipients from a field of many well-qualified organizations. Additional information on this award can be found at


The Water Environment Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization formed in 1989, is America's leading independent scientific research organization dedicated to wastewater and stormwater issues.