Forget iron — let’s pump some water

Gravity delivers water to about 60 percent of Denver Water’s potable water customers. Pump stations do the rest.

October 23, 2017 | By: TAP Staff
An employee checks on a new pipe in Denver Water’s underground pump station in Capitol Hill on Oct. 11, 1916.
An employee checks on a new pipe in Denver Water’s underground water storage facility, near the Capitol Hill pump station on Oct. 11, 1916.


The natural topography of the South Platte River valley allows Denver Water to use nothing more than gravity to deliver water to about 60 percent of its potable (drinking) water customers. The remaining 40 percent of those customers rely on pump stations.

Denver Water has 22 pump stations and four wells capable of pumping more than 1 billion gallons of treated, untreated and recycled water in a day.

Pump stations fall into two different categories. The first type lifts water from lower elevations to fill treated water reservoirs at various high points around town. From there either gravity takes over to supply customers downhill or it may be pumped uphill to yet another reservoir.

For other areas where reservoirs aren’t an option, booster pump stations help ensure adequate pressures are maintained at all times.

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