Fort Morgan wastewater treatment system improvements.
The Western Sugar Fort Morgan plant had a very simple wastewater treatment system consisting of mud presses to remove solids from the beet washing loop along with unlined finger ponds with some aeration in them to treat the high BOD water. These ponds were located close to the South Platte River and in-situ treatment in the ground water showed significant treatment was occurring, total treatment could not be substantially proven. The State of Colorado has been working with Western Sugar to upgrade this treatment system to ensure the water quality reaching the South Platte River meets their requirements. As part of this, Western Sugar partnered with Veolia to provide the 1st stage of treatment using a CSTR Anaerobic digester with associated equipment. This was installed in 2020-21 and was started in early 2022. This paper will provide details and results from this installation as well as plans for the 2nd stage of treatment of aerobic treatment in lined ponds and the challenges Western Sugar still faces for the final treatment of the wastewater for discharge.