The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Boise City officials have worked together to develop an innovative, cost-effective method of removing phosphorous from water flowing into the Boise River. This project, the Dixie Drain, is able to remove phosphorous through an agriculture “return flow” system, which is more practical and effective than a costly local wastewater treatment plant.
The Dixie Drain, located upstream on the Boise River to target increased phosphorous runoff from farms, can remove up to 140 pounds of phosphorus a day. The project has seen great success in removing nutrients and improving the health of water supplies. U.S. EPA Region 10 Administrator Dennis McLerran commends the project, calling it a “fascinating effort” and a success “due to Boise’s willingness to innovate, and the collaboration, flexibility, and risk taking among the City, DEQ, and EPA.”