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BOISE -- The city of Boise is moving ahead with plans for an innovative water treatment project.

Mayor Dave Bieter and Congressman Mike Simpson were on hand Tuesday to help unveil the Dixie Drain Phosphorus Removal Offset project.

The project would allow the city of Boise to meet phosphorus removal requirements by treating a rural agricultural drain instead of doing costly mechanical upgrades at the city's treatment facilities.

The plan is to treat high levels of phosphorus in the dixie drain in Canyon County. The facility is near the towns of Notus and Parma.

If it's approved by Canyon County, officials say the plan would be the first of its kind in the country.

It's a big deal because it's really a nationally precedent-setting project, nobody else is doing this in the country, it's really the first time it's been done at a scale like this, and so really the first time somebody like the city of Boise has taken on an issue like this and get it regulatorially approved, said Steve Burgos, water resources advisor.

The dixie drain project has been in the planning stages for more than four years and was a collaborative effort between the city, the EPA and the Idaho DEQ.

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