Eco-Friendly Facts About the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park
Eco-Friendly Royal Gorge
One visit to the Royal Gorge reveals solid proof of how hard the Earth works to maintain its ecosystems that are so valuable to us. Without the incredible force of the Arkansas River, the Royal Gorge we love would not exist today. To celebrate Earth Day, we want to share more eco–friendly facts about the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park:
Use, Clean, Return: Water Used at RGB Sourced From The Arkansas River
Our biggest eco friendly operation at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is our own water treatment plant. We operate a Conventional Direct Filtration System that pulls water from the Arkansas River about 1,500 feet below. We monitor this system very closely and ensure the same amount of water taken from the river is returned back – clean and safe – to the river’s natural environment. The water intake supplies water for fire suppression as well as safe drinking water at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park.
After the water has been brought up from the river into the tanks, our water treatment consists of adding polymers to the water, which attach to and enlarge contaminants. This process allows for contaminants to be filtered out. Once the water is clean, we maintain the purity of the water through the use of chlorine. Then, the treated and clean water is distributed as potable water for the restaurants and water fountains throughout the park, and stored within outdoor fire hydrants and in indoor spray nozzles.
The water must be treated and cleaned for fire suppression operations because if raw water were to be used, debris and contaminants from the river water could clog the fine nozzles used in the park’s buildings. Cleaning the water allows for a safe, free-flowing source of water in the case the sprayers must be used.
Our water treatment plant allows the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park to control the amount of water pumped from the Arkansas River. This water is used for consumption and fire safety operations. The Park then ensures the same amount of water is cleaned and returned to the river.
Other Eco-Friendly Facts About the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park
During summer months, we don’t plant flowers just for looks. The flowers we plant are friendly to Colorado’s ecosystem of bugs, including butterflies and bees. Bringing a natural look and feel is important to maintaining the conservation and respect we all share for the natural environment. Our Visitor Center offers plenty of souvenirs to choose from for your trip to Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, which includes reusable water bottles. Buy a water bottle to during your day of adventure at the park – all while supporting our eco-friendly efforts at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park.
Wastewater Treatment at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park
Also, part of our water usage and recycling is the wastewater treatment operations solely for the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. This treatment system uses a mechanical aeration process to treat the wastewater produced at the park and clean it for a safe return to the Arkansas River. Although chlorine is used to treat wastewater, the chemical is removed from the water before its return to the natural environment.
The wastewater cleaning process entails the use of aeration to keep the ‘bugs’ alive and the tanks flowing. During summer, there is enough waste to feed the bio-organisms (bugs) that feed on the contaminants. We ensure our wastewater plant is run properly so that there are no odors present, but instead emanate a clean, organic aroma caused by the natural cleaning process of the water.
Recycling at Royal Gorge Bridge and Park
The Arkansas River’s amazing ability to carve its way through the granite rock has been millions of years in the making to form the wondrous Royal Gorge. Also, the regrowth we have seen since the 2013 fire is another fierce example of our Earth forming and maintaining the ecosystems around us. These are only a few reasons why we strive to care for our natural environment at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park and beyond, which includes efforts like our water treatment system and implementing recycling programs.
To reduce the amount of waste materials like plastic, paper, and aluminum, recycle bins are on site throughout the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. We are currently adding even more recycle receptacles around our park to increase the level of care for our natural environment.