Water treatment blast from the past

Kassler plant was the first of its kind west of the Mississippi River.

August 24, 2017 | By: TAP Staff
A rusted sign at the bottom of Waterton Canyon tells the story of what was once the hub of Denver Water’s treatment.
A rusted sign at the bottom of Waterton Canyon tells the story of what was once Denver Water’s treatment hub.


Through the first 40 or so years of Denver’s existence, things were quite unsettled when it came to water. A number of water companies formed, delivering water in different ways to different people, competing with each other for business along the way. In 1894, only one company remained standing — the Denver Union Water Company (the precursor to Denver Water).

Citizens were growing tired of increasingly polluted riverside wells and demanded a solution. So, in 1901, the company constructed the first English slow sand filter treatment plant west of the Mississippi: the Kassler treatment plant.

The facility could treat 50 million gallons a day, and low river flows didn’t hinder its operation. Soon Kassler became the cornerstone of Denver’s water system. It was so reliable that it remained in service until 1985, delivering high-quality water to the great-grandchildren of those first settlers.

Check out From water wagons to 50 million gallons a day to learn more about the early days of water in Denver.

2 thoughts on “Water treatment blast from the past”

  1. Fix your links in your website. I keep clicking on the Kassler facility and it does not come up. I like to read about the history of the facility.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *