Denver Water: An Overview
Accurate as of January 3, 2008
The Denver Water Mission
Denver Water will provide our customers with high quality water and excellent service through responsible and creative stewardship of the assets we manage. We will do this with a productive and diverse work force. We will actively participate in and be a responsible member of the water community.
- A five-member Board of Water Commissioners is appointed by the Mayor of Denver to staggered six-year terms.
- The Board appoints a Manager who is chief executive officer of day-to-day operations; the Manager also serves as Secretary to the Board.
- Ensures a continuous supply of water to the City and County of Denver and nearly 50% of Denver Water customers who live in the surrounding suburbs (water service contracts)
- Responsible for the collection, storage, quality control and distribution of drinking water to nearly one fourth of all Coloradoans
- Primary water sources: Blue River & South Platte River
- Other water sources: Fraser River, Williams Fork River, South Boulder Creek, Ralston Creek, Bear Creek
- Established in 1918 (Denver citizens purchased water system from a private company)
- Colorado's oldest and largest water utility
- Denver Water is a separate entity from City of Denver.
- Denver Water derives its authority from the Charter of The City and County of Denver (Article X).
- A total of 1,124,000 people served in the Denver Metro area
- Customer accounts served in City and County of Denver: 158,346
- Suburban customer accounts served (wholesale): 76,552
- Suburban customer accounts served (retail): 72,003
- Provides service to more than 15,000 water fire hydrants
Water Rates & Fees
- Set by Board of Water Commissioners
- Since its inception, the Board has set rates at a level sufficient to service its debt and to meet its expenses of operation and maintenance.
- The Board has never required ad valorem taxes to meet its obligations.
- City Charter requires the Board to charge more to customers who live outside the City and County of Denver.
- Operates from Water Works Fund, which ensures the separation between city hall and the Water Board. The general city government has no access to the Water Works Fund and the Water Board has no access to the city's general fund. Both funds, however, are accounted for by the City Auditor.
- Generates revenues from sale of water to Denver and suburban customers and from the sale of hydropower to electric utility companies.
- Total operating revenues for 2006: $201 million.
- Miles of water mains (pipelines): 2,645
- Miles of non-potable pipes in system: 32.6
- Number of pumping stations: 19
- Underground reservoirs in various city locations: 34
|Reservoir||Acre Feet of Storage||% of Total Storage|
|Eleven Mile Canyon||97,779||17|
|Williams Fork||96,822||Provides exchange water to meet downstream senior water rights requirements.|
|Wolford Mountain||25,610||Lease agreement with the Colorado River Water Conservation District for exchange water.|
- Almost all the water supply comes from mountain snowmelt.
- Extremely high level of watershed control and protection by multiple agencies
- Total area: 4,000 square miles (2.5 million acres)
- Location and size:
- Park County: 1,230,000 acres
- Grand County: 390,000 acres
- Jefferson County: 280,000 acres
- Summit County: 210,000 acres
- Teller County: 160,000 acres
- Douglas County: 120,000 acres
- Clear Creek County: 70,000 acres
- Gilpin County: 60,000 acres
- Other Counties: 20,000 acres
Water Treatment Plants
- Utilize "conventional" process design consisting of coagulation/sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection processes
- Meet all the standards set by the state of Colorado and the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, and is superior in quality to water which meets these minimal requirements
|Marston||250 million gallons per day|
|Moffat||185 million gallons per day|
|Foothills||280 million gallons per day|
Recycle Treatment Plant
- Treated water is used for industrial purposes and for outdoor irrigation in parks, golf courses and other public spaces.
- Treatment is similar to the process at drinking-water plants: coagulation, sedimentation, filtration and disinfection, but not to drinking water quality.
- Ammonia is removed and phosphorous reduced to make it non-corrosive when used in industrial applications; water will be safe for incidental body contact.
- Water is treated to a level higher than required by standards set by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for irrigation use.
|Recycle Treatment Plant||Capacity|
|Commerce City||Phase I: Up to 30 million gallons per day|
- Uses one-third of the state's treated water supply (234,000 acre feet* per year)
- Uses 2% of all water (treated and untreated) used in Colorado (265,000 acre feet per year)
- Average annual use for typical family home: 125,000 gallons per year (a little less that half an acre foot)
- The average consumption is about 168 gallons per person per day (10-year average.
- Total Water Use by Category:
- 48% Single Family Homes
- 21% Business & Industry
- 17% Multifamily Homes
- 9% Public Agencies
- 6% Unaccounted
- Residential Water Use by Category:
- 54% Landscaping
- 13% Toilets
- 11% Laundry
- 10% Showers/baths
- 6% Faucets
- 5% Leaks
- 1% Dishwashers
* Acre foot is a volume of water equal to one foot in depth covering an area of one acre or approximately 325,851 gallons.