Colorado Public Works Journal, Fall/Winter 2023

56┃ Colorado Public Works Journal INDUSTRY INSIGHTS feature by Sean O’Keefe Like many industry leaders, Metro Water Recovery Chief Executive Officer, Mickey Conway, comes to his work through a lifetime of experience and a resolute dedication to doing the right thing for Coloradans. He was selected by the Board of Directors as CEO in January 2018 after serving Metro Water Recovery as General Counsel for four years. “I’d spent twenty years in private practice specializing in water/ wastewater law as counsel to utility providers in New York and New Jersey,” opens Conway. “However, I grew up here. So, when the chance to work for Metro opened, I was delighted to come back home. I love all the same things most Coloradans do – the outdoors, the weather, the lifestyle, family fun, sports, and the Broncos.” Serving an estimated 2.2 million people, Metro Water Recovery is the largest water and resource recovery agency in the Rocky Mountain West. Operating as a special district formed by the Colorado legislature in 1961, Metro’s service area includes Denver and parts of Adams, Arapahoe, Jefferson, Douglas, and Weld counties. Member connectors include 61 local governments composed of cities, counties, sanitation districts, and water and sanitation districts. “Once water is used, in a home or business, it comes to us via connectors,” says Conway of a gravity-fed process that is almost as simple as that. The magic happens once the water is recovered. “We treat it by refreshing it and taking resources out of it wherever possible. Once it has been cleaned, we return it to the South Platte River. We also recover about 90 tons of solids a day, which are digested into a fertilizer product used on farms in eastern Colorado, including our 52,000-acre farm. We’re in the clean water business and it’s a 24/7 responsibility.” Metro’s primary facilities are the Robert Hite Treatment Facility in Denver, which opened for operations in 1966, and the Northern Treatment Plant located in Brighton, which opened in 2016, fifty years after the original plant. Located some 65 miles east of Denver, the METROGRO Farm uses the Class B biosolids to cultivate a variety of crops including winter wheat, sorghum/sudan grass, and corn. Ralph Bell, Castle Rock Construction Company Mickey Conway Recovery is staffed by people who care, and the value of clean water in our lives isn’t something we should take for granted.