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Denver Water Quality: Then & Now
Long before Denver earned its reputation as a mountainous, lush tourist oasis, brave travelers making the trek out west sought refuge on the shores of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek. Like the area’s early settlers and original Native Americans, who camped along the riverbanks, Denver residents today can still trace their drinking water through their taps to these bodies of water.
As surface wells and buckets soon gave way to more sophisticated water systems, Denver emerged at the forefront of national water development. Completed in 1867, City Ditch, the city’s first water system – which can still be found to flow freely through Washington Park – turned Denver’s dusty plains into a thriving city. Denver became the first major city in the United States to filtrate its water in 1884, using a system of wood stave pipes, and the first to treat its water with chlorine in 1911.
The Dust Bowl proved that water storage across the Midwest was just as vital as water management. The Cheesman Reservoir, completed in 1905, ended Denver’s reliance on in-town storage, wells, and streamflow. Standing tall at 221 feet high, Cheesman was the world’s tallest reservoir in its day. Completed during one of the worst droughts in U.S. history, Eleven Mile Canyon Dam was the largest dam in the Denver system, and the Moffat Water Tunnel Diversion Project brought water across the continental divide. Learn more about the Moffat Water Tunnel construction by watching the video below:
The Williams Fork Reservoir would later carry the city’s water into the future after its 1959 expansion into hydroelectric generating plant, one of seven still in operation today.
Much of Denver’s current water policy continues to demonstrate commitment to innovation. Today, the city’s water is regulated by Denver Water, a public agency that operates independently from the city government and funded by water rates and tap fees, instead of taxes.
Denver, a semi-arid metropolitan area, receives about 15 inches of precipitation annually. Yet, while nearly 75% of the area’s water is located on the western side of the state, about 75% of the population live on the east side, making distribution and conservation at top priority.
With a water system that covers 4,000 square miles, or 2.5 million acres, and serves nearly 1/4 of all Coloradans, the city operates a complex system of reservoirs and treatment plants, still fed by the South Platte River. The Cheesman and Williams Fork reservoirs, along with Eleven Mile Canyon Dam and the Moffat Water Tunnel, continue to carry surface water across both sides of the continental divide. Recently, the Army Corps of Engineers approved a $380 million upgrade to the Gross Dam Reservoir, which will triple its water storage.
Along with the South Platte River, Denver residents could be drinking water that originated in several sources, including Blue River, Williams Fork River, and the South Boulder Creek, Ralston Creek, Bear Creek, and Fraser River watersheds. Surface water sources carry risk of contamination from naturally occurring minerals, as well as substances resulting from human or animal activity. Though Denver Water has a sophisticated five-step treatment system in plants throughout the area, the tap water can sometimes carry an “earthy” taste from naturally occurring algae or other organic material.
Quench Water Coolers –
A Better Drinking Water System for Denver
No need to worry about what your office’s drinking water might have picked up on its journey to your glass. Quench offers a full complement of filtration and purification technologies to remove sediment, reduce chemical contaminants, including lead, and get rid of off-tastes and odors. That’s how we can guarantee that Quench office water coolers produce crisp, clean, great-tasting water – and at a fraction of the price of bottled water delivery services. Go bottle-free with Quench and you will save time, money, and the environment, plus you will have better drinking water!
Quench Proudly Serves More Than 60,000 Customers Nationwide
I want to thank the team at Quench for the quick, professional installation of our new water system. You and your installation team made the process very simple and timely from start to finish. I highly recommend your product as an alternative to water bottles!
Nationwide Service with Local Presence
Quench’s dedicated customer team stands behind every installation. You’ll always find a well-trained, friendly human at the other end of the phone, and all service is performed by insured, certified Quench-badged technicians. Our customer service promise includes proactive preventive maintenance, filter changes, and all service and support. We worry about your drinking water, so you don’t have to.
Proudly providing clean, filtered drinking water to businesses in the greater Denver Metro Area, including the counties of Denver, Arapahoe County, Jefferson, Adams, Douglas, Broomfield, Elbert, Park, Clear Creek Creek, and Gilpin.
Quench Filtration Solutions
For over 20 years, Quench has focused exclusively on providing businesses with the highest quality filtered water. This commitment to doing one thing well has made us the trusted water authority for over 50% of the Fortune 500. We offer the best bottleless water coolers, ice machines, sparkling water dispensers, and coffee brewers to fit any workplace. No matter your location, company size, or industry, we have a filtered water solution that is right for you!