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RWSD’s Quality Drinking Water

Some RWSD residents have lingering concerns with the quality of the water we provide. I want to assure all of our residents that your RWSD team takes our responsibility to provide safe, high quality drinking very seriously. RWSD’s drinking water meets or exceeds all standards set by the State of Colorado and the U.S. EPA, and we recently placed third in a regional taste competition. But some folks continue to have concerns, so I’ll do my best to address those concerns.

The State of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the U.S. EPA regulate drinking water by adopting enforceable maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for various constituents to protect human health and prevent taste and odor problems. EPA adopts MCLs based on extensive scientific studies, and reviews, updates and adds MCLs as new data and information becomes available. CDPHE adopts these MCLs and enforces compliance at drinking water utilities in Colorado.  We sample various regulated constituents at the water treatment plant and throughout the distribution system on a daily, monthly and quarterly basis pursuant to those regulations.

RWSD and its residents are also fortunate to have a permanent, high quality water supply. RWSD has a permanent lease with the City of Aurora for water from Aurora’s mountain water supply system. Aurora’s water supply originates high in the Rocky Mountains in pristine watersheds.  All water supplies, regardless of how pristine their origins, will have naturally occurring contaminants such as minerals and organic matter. That is why RWSD invested in a state-of-the-art water treatment plant that removes 99+% of any material in our raw water supply.

But no treatment system removes 100% of the naturally occurring minerals in their water supply. It is these minerals that can build up on the walls of our pipelines during winter months when water usage is low and the velocity of water through the pipes is slow. These naturally occurring minerals can sometimes be scoured from the pipeline walls and cause your water to be discolored. We do our best to flush our distribution pipeline system regularly to avoid discolored water in your homes, but we need to hear from you if you have discolored water so we can address it and document different areas that may need to be flushed more frequently. Please read through our FAQs (see below) on discolored water and flushing to learn more.

Another complaint we hear is a chlorine taste or smell.  A disinfection residual is required to be maintained in the distribution system at all times.  Until a year ago, RWSD relied on chlorine residual to meet this requirement. Last spring, we switched from using chlorine to what are called chloramines to maintain our distribution system residuals. Most water utilities use chloramines and that’s probably what most of our residents are used to. RWSD didn’t have the capability to do chloramination at the old plant without costly capital improvements being made, and we needed to get the new plant up and running before we made this conversion. By using the chloramination process we can dose much less chlorine and maintain much more consistent disinfection residuals throughout the entire system. Some people are sensitive to the taste and odor that chlorine produces, and we hope the conversion to chloramination improved their perception of our water quality.

Please call us at the RWSD office (303-979-7286) whenever you have concerns with your water quality.  We cannot address issues we don’t know about.  We also invite you to our annual Open House and Barbecue at the Larry D. Moore Water Treatment Plant on June 8 – meet our team, tour the plant, and enjoy a tasty lunch.

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