A fine dam relationship — for more than 25 years

Where do Taiwanese engineers go to learn about recycled water? To a trusted source: Denver Water.

September 30, 2016 | By: Steve Snyder

Word gets around.

Denver Water's Dave Brancio shows a delegation of Taiwanese engineers the filter beds at Denver Water's Recycling Plant.
Plant supervisor David Brancio shows a delegation of Taiwanese engineers the filter beds at Denver Water’s Recycling Plant.

When you do something well, whether it’s running a repair shop, a restaurant or even a water utility, people will seek out your expertise.

Even if it means traveling halfway around the world to do it.

A group of engineers from Taiwan recently visited Denver Water’s Recycling Plant to better understand how we provide recycled water to our customers. It was part of a larger information-gathering trip to the U.S. so the Taiwanese engineers can help their government set national standards on water quality.

“As urban development has increased across Taiwan, flooding damage and a deteriorating urban water environment have become public concerns,” said James Guo, Ph.D., a professor of civil engineering at the University of Colorado Denver, and a primary organizer of the tour. “Denver Water has a strong reputation around the world for its work in recycled water, so this delegation was anxious to learn more. Plus there is a long history between the organizations.”

Taiwanese delegations have been visiting Denver Water since 1991, thanks in part to James Guo’s wife, Lucy Guo, a retired Denver Water employee who worked in information technology for 33 years.

The first Taiwanese delegation to visit Strontia Springs Dam in 1991. (photo courtesy of Lucy Guo)
The first Taiwanese delegation to visit Strontia Springs Dam in 1991. (Photo courtesy of Lucy Guo)

“I’ve helped facilitate a number of visits between Taiwan’s government and Denver Water,” Lucy Guo said. “It all started with a sister dam program with their country. Strontia Springs’ sister dam in Taiwan is Feitsui Dam.”

Wait. A sister dam?

“It’s similar to a sister cities program,” Lucy Guo said. “It promotes knowledge transfers and exchanges between two groups.”

James Guo said the engineers left the Recycling Plant impressed with the many partners Denver Water works with to provide recycled water. And despite the thousands of miles that separate them, James Guo said engineers from both countries are connected by their dedication to water and water quality.

“It’s a great experience for everyone involved,” James Guo said.

And a dam fine concept.

Strontia Springs Dam (left) and Feitsui Dam in Taiwan have been "sister dams" since 1984. (Photo courtesy of Taipei Feitsui Reservoir Administration)
Strontia Springs Dam in Colorado (left) and Feitsui Dam in Taiwan have been “sister dams” since 1984. (Photo courtesy of Taipei Feitsui Reservoir Administration)

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