FAQs

Who is responsible for regulating water quality?

The District’s certified and highly trained water specialists regularly monitor, test, and ensure our water quality and treatment processes meet the requirements of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which is the State’s water quality regulatory agency.

Do you add fluoride to the water?

The District does not add any fluoride to the water we purify and distribute to our customers. There is a little, naturally occurring fluoride in our raw water. Our water quality or Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) covers the most recent treatment and distribution year. Customers are sent this report annually on or before July 1 and it is also posted on our website. See the most recent CCR here.

What technology is used in Roxborough’s water treatment plant?

It was the first treatment plant in Colorado to receive 100 percent of its initial disinfection credits from Ultra Violet (UV) light. In addition, the plant utilizes Actiflo with the ability to remove over 99 percent of the naturally occurring contaminants of raw water. Chloramination of the water will occur at the end of the water treatment process which will keep the water safe throughout the distribution system.

What is Actiflo?

Part of the water treatment process at the District’s plant, Actiflo is a highly efficient water pre-treatment (clarification) process that is more compact than other systems. It requires a smaller footprint, which saved construction costs, and has been in use for municipal water treatment plants for over 25-years to help provide high-quality water.

Why does the treatment plant use UV light?

Ultra Violet (UV) light has been proven to safeguard drinking water from naturally occurring microorganisms such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia, which can be present in even the most pristine mountain streams. UV light is very effective, free of any chemicals, doesn’t affect the taste, helps keep the water clear, and doesn’t add any odors.

Why use chloramines rather than chlorine for water treatment?

Both chloramines and chlorine can be used to maintain disinfection in the water after it leaves a plant to ensure safe drinking water at the faucet. Chloramines are a good way to meet the state’s regulations that require a disinfectant residual remains in the treated water as it travels through the system because it is more stable and easier to work with than chlorine. Chloramines also have the added benefits that the residual lasts longer, and the formation of disinfection by-products is much slower. Early in 2018, the Water Treatment Plant plans to switch to using chloramines.

What are chloramines?

Chloramines are a chemical compound made by reacting ammonia with the active ingredient in chlorine bleach. Chloramines are more stable than chlorine, which is why many water systems in the United States, such as Denver Water, use chloramines.

Will there be any taste or smell from chloramines?

Water treated with chloramines has less of a “chlorinated” taste and smell than water treated with chlorine.

Do chloramines pose any health concerns?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states neither chlorine nor chloramines pose health concerns to humans at the levels used for drinking water disinfection. However, either chlorine or chloramines may cause issues for a person on kidney dialysis. If you are on kidney dialysis or have any health issues, you should always contact your physician or medical center about any issues with chlorine or chloramines.

Will a filter remove chloramines from the water?

There are special types of granular active carbon filters that are designed specifically for chloramine removal.

What are safe levels of chloramines?

The amount of chloramines used to make water safe to drink is the equivalent of less than 4 drops of chloramine in a million gallons of water. That equates to 4 milligrams per liter (mg/L) or 4 parts per million (ppm). At these levels, no harmful health effects should occur.

Are chloramines toxic to animals or fish?

The small amount of chloramines added to the water will not affect animals such as dogs, cats, and birds, so it can be used regularly for watering and bathing animals. Like chlorine, chloramines are harmful to fish. Unlike chlorine, however, chloramines cannot be removed by allowing the water to stand a few days. Check with your local pet store for more information.

Water Quality & Aesthetics

Here at RWSD we not only take the safety of your tap water very seriously, we also care about its overall quality. Thus, while water discoloration in this area is normally due to harmless minerals caused by system maintenance (flushing), even aesthetic issues matter to us. That’s why it’s important to let us know if you experience any water discoloration or have any other water clarity concerns by calling our office at 303-979-7286.

What causes water in Roxborough to be discolored?

The discoloration consists of naturally occurring harmless minerals (primarily iron and manganese). What happens is when water flows through the pipes, the flow is low (and slow), which can cause these minerals to collect and adhere to the water pipeline walls, especially during winter months. When water demands go up, such as in the spring when people water outdoors, there is a lot of construction activity, or a water line break, the increased water flow can scour these minerals from the pipes.

Is the water safe if it is discolored?

Yes, even though there are minerals in it, the water remains safe. However, the District does not expect you to use the water when it is discolored. Please contact us because we can’t respond if we don’t know it’s occurring. It’s important to know that the water quality in Roxborough continues to meet and/or exceed Colorado’s strict drinking water standards.

Do other water providers have water discoloration problems?

Yes, this is a common problem for water providers everywhere. That’s why flushing is a common procedure to clean out the water pipelines each spring or early summer. Due to minerals accumulating in the pipelines, Denver Water, Parker, Inverness, Aurora, Cottonwood, Centennial, Boulder, etc. all use flushing and have had issues with water discoloration occurrences

What should I do if my water is discolored?

Contact us immediately, 24/7, and we will send out a field technician to flush the pipes and ensure water to your home is flowing clearly. Please call us at 303-979-7286. Once our field technicians have completed the flushing of the system, you should open the cold water on a tub faucet at the highest elevation point in your home and let it run until it runs clear to flush the service line and your homes internal plumbing.

Can I still do laundry when the water is discolored?

It is recommended that you do NOT wash clothes when there is any discoloration in the water to avoid the possibility that it could stain any clothing. Please contact us immediately 365 days a year, 24/7 if you have any water discolorations before doing any laundry.

What if my cold water runs clear, but my hot water is discolored?

If this occurs, we suggest draining and refilling the hot water tank. Most manufactures of hot water heaters recommend annually draining your heater to flush out any accumulated minerals. Make sure to do this cautiously and follow all your manufacturer’s warnings to avoid getting burned, damaging your equipment or voiding your warranty.

What is wastewater (sanitary sewer)?

Wastewater or sewage is the byproduct of many uses of water such as showering, dishwashing, laundry and flushing the toilet. After the water has been used, it enters the household’s wastewater pipeline and once it connects to the District’s main wastewater pipeline, the wastewater flows to the Littleton/Englewood Wastewater Treatment Plant where it is treated.

What is the District’s responsibility regarding water and sewer (wastewater) lines?

The homeowner is responsible for the water and sewer (wastewater) service pipelines beginning at their property line to and throughout their home. The District owns, operates, maintains and repairs all water and sewer (wastewater) main lines. Main lines are large pipelines generally located in streets or open spaces, which serve more than one residence or facility.

Why are sewer (wastewater) services always the same amount each month?

The District charges a flat monthly fee that is the same for all residents. The current monthly charge for sewer (wastewater) services can be found on our Fees Schedule which is located on this website under the Sewer tab.

What are the main causes of sewer (wastewater) backups?

Normally sewer backups occur because of clogged pipes, which are often preventable. Backups can also happen because of invasive tree roots, cracked pipes, sagging pipes, weather, natural disasters, vandalism, infrastructure breakdown, incorrect installations, and separated joints in underground pipes. Backups are more common in older homes with basements. At times, the cause of a backup in a wastewater pipeline is from items that the line is not meant to handle, such as kid’s toys, diapers, paper products (other than toilet paper), keys and many other items that will clog the line eventually.

How can we prevent a sewer (wastewater) backup in our home?

Keep Fats, Oils and Grease out of your drains and garbage disposal and ensure that no objects other than toilet paper and human waste are being flushed down toilets. Use paper towels to wipe out excess pan oils before washing. You can also use a grease-fighting liquid dish soap to help break up potential blockages. You might also want to contact a plumber to assess your pipeline and drains periodically. Plumbers can clean out existing pipes, and video your sewage pipeline all the way to where it connects to the District’s main sewage pipeline.

What items should NEVER go down the drain or into a toilet?

Fats, oils, grease, bones, paint, medicine, coffee filters, solvents, hair, sanitary pads, diapers, wet wipes, dental floss, cigarettes, cleaning supplies, tissues, and bandages should NEVER go down the drain or into the toilet. In other words, if it’s anything at all that is likely to contribute to your pipes getting clogged, put it in the trash, not down the drain. These items not only clog pipelines but cause environmental concerns during the treatment process.

Who is responsible for the sewer (wastewater) pipeline maintenance?

It’s important to know that the sewer (wastewater) pipeline from the property line of the Property Owner to and throughout the home is owned and maintained by the Property Owner. The District maintains the sewer service line from the property line to the point of connection (usually under the street) where it connects to the wastewater main pipeline.

Who cleans up a backup sewage mess in my home?

It depends on where the obstruction occurred in the sewer service line. If a backup occurs in your home, immediately contact the District to report the back up. The District will then assist in the remediation, determination of the cause, and establish responsibility. That’s why it is so important to let everyone in your home know not to flush and put down the drain harmful items such as fats, oil, grease, wet wipes, feminine protection items, etc.

Are there any insurance options to protect us from backup damage?

There are some insurance agencies that offer coverage for sewer and drain backups. Talk with your agent to learn more.

What should we do if we have a sewer backup in our home?

  1. Contact the District immediately for assistance if you help in determining where the blockage is located.
  2. Check the toilets, sinks and drain pipes to clear any blockages to ensure that the water is not due to an internal plumbing problem. It’s important to know that a sewer (wastewater) backup is contaminated and may contain a number of bacteria and viruses, which can affect your health.
  3. Try to carefully close as many drain openings as possible.
  4. Don’t run any more water, use the toilets or send any water down the drain as it will likely end up in your basement or lower levels of your home.
  5. Check with your neighbors to see if they are experiencing any backups. If they are, it is likely that it is a problem in the main sewage line. Contact the District immediately to report the problem.
  6. Call a plumber to assist with clearing the issue, closing any drains remaining open, and to assess your home’s internal issues.
  7. Contact your homeowner’s insurance to determine what coverage might be available.

What is flushing the water system?

It is when we literally flush the water mains (pipelines) to remove accumulated minerals (like iron and manganese) from the system. This is accomplished by opening fire hydrants in a specific area, sending massive currents of water speeding through the pipes, flushing any accumulation from the pipes and out the hydrant.

Why is flushing necessary?

Imagine driving down the road at about 1 or 2 miles an hour — the rate water normally moves through pipes in the winter when water demand is typically low. This slow movement allows minerals to build up over time, accumulating along the inside circumference of the pipes. Our field technicians “pick up the speed of the water’s flow” by flushing these water thoroughfares (pipelines) in order to help scour the pipes of minerals.

Do other public water providers flush their pipelines?

Like us, most public water providers utilize some type of flushing program — it’s simply one of the safest and best ways to maintain water quality and delivery reliability.

Can local construction cause the system to flush?

Yes, if a construction worker opens a fire hydrant too fast, it can cause the same sort of flushing effect as we perform in the surrounding area. If this happens and you experience any water discoloration, please try running your cold water until it flows clear, and if the problem persists for more than a reasonable amount of time, please contact us.

When does water system flushing occur?

Flushing is normally a spring or an early summertime task, performed just as residents move outdoors, drawing more water to meet irrigation and recreational needs. Without flushing, these residents might find their in-home tap water discolored or water flow restricted. If, however, you experience water discoloration at other times, please let us know, and we will send out a field technician to help solve the problem.

What if my cold water runs clear, but my hot water is discolored?

If this occurs, we suggest draining and refilling the hot water tank. Most manufactures of hot water heaters recommend annually draining your heater to flush out any accumulated minerals. Make sure to do this cautiously and follow all your manufacturer’s warnings to avoid getting burned, damaging your equipment or voiding your warranty.

Does RoxWater monitor the water’s quality during the flushing process?

Yes, our field technicians will collect a water sample to verify water quality during the flushing of an event of water discoloration.

What should I do when I see RoxWater’s crew flushing hydrants in my area?

Please drive carefully and understand that our crews are maintaining your water system to help guarantee the delivery of quality water and to increase the life of the pipeline system. And, if you get the chance, thanking them is always nice, too.

Who owns the water meter?

It is owned and maintained by Roxborough Water and Sanitation District (RWSD). It is a highly accurate and dependable water measuring device that registers all the water used in your home.

Where is the water meter Located?

On new homes the water meter is placed in the basement, while some of the older homes may have them located outside in a meter pit or in a crawl space.

How does the meter work?

A meter records by a sweeping method: the amount of water that passes through is measured in gallons. Basically, the sweep hand is one revolution on the meter for every ten gallons of water. Thus it works just like recording of mileage on an auto odometer.

How do I read the water meter?

Just like reading the odometer on your car, you read a water meter from left to right. There are seven digits and you will want to include them all, even the zeros to the left. Going from left to right, the first digit is the millions of gallons, the second digit is hundreds of thousands of gallons, the third digit is tens of thousands of digits, the fourth digit is thousands of gallons, the fifth digit is hundreds of gallons, the sixth digit is tens of gallons and the final far right digit never moves. The single gallons are indicated by the red sweep hand.

What do you mean by “CREEPING” water meter?

When a water meter is said to be “creeping” it is where the leak indicator dial on your water meter continues to move constantly when there is no water being used in the home – all water fixtures are off. So-called “creeping” is often indicative of a leak or drip somewhere in your home’s water system. Remember, it is your responsibility to find and repair all leaks and drips as soon as possible.

What about meter maintenance?

As the water meters are the property of RWSD, their maintenance and replacement are the responsibility of the District. Contact the District office if you feel that your meter is not working properly. The District replaces water meters every 10 years.

Do I have to do any maintenance on the water meter?

While the maintenance of the water meter is performed by RWSD, it is your responsibility to keep the meter Radio Frequency box free of cover and accessible. As the water meter is read by remote, please do not restrict its frequency by covering the meter with debris or other objects. Our field personnel appreciate your cooperation.

How do I know if I need a new water meter?

Should your meter need to be replaced, you will find a tag hanging on your door notifying you that the District needs to schedule an appointment for access or in the case of an outside meter your water will be turned off briefly while your meter is changed. Note, there is no charge for a replacement meter.