Sixty-three percent of Americans are concerned about their drinking water, according to a 2017 Gallup poll.
As the water provider to more than 1 million people in Denver and many surrounding suburbs, it’s not a comforting statistic to hear.
Given the alarming stories we see in the news and on social media with warnings about drinking water, we can’t say we’re completely surprised. We’ve even addressed some of these misleading tales filled with out-of-context data in our story, “What’s really in your water?”
How can we fix this? It starts with education. And, with National Drinking Water Week kicking off as we speak, now is a great time to provide you with a crash course in water quality in Denver.
First and foremost, we’re lucky here in the Mile High City, with drinking water that is 100 percent surface water that comes from rivers, streams and reservoirs fed by high-quality mountain snow.
Because of this, our water does not pass through a lot of development, agriculture or industry before entering our watersheds. This means the risk of substances in the water coming down our mountains before being treated at our plants is much lower than other areas in the U.S.
But we don’t just rely on an educated guess when we say we deliver high-quality drinking water.
We have our own laboratory and team of scientists who work hard to ensure we know what’s in the water before it makes it to our treatment plants. These scientists also ensure that the water we are cleaning at these plants and distributing to customers goes above and beyond state and federal drinking water regulations.
This is no small feat. In 2017, Denver Water took more than 35,000 samples and performed nearly 70,000 tests from every phase of our drinking water’s journey. And our scientists tested for regulated compounds, such as chloroforms, as well as hormones and pesticides, which are not currently regulated by the government. You can dive deep into all the tests and results in Denver Water’s 2018 water quality report, which is now available online.
Another major concern comes from the ongoing coverage of the lead issues in Flint, Michigan — an important topic for the entire nation to learn more about.
The good news for Denverites is that the water we deliver to your home is lead-free. However, some people are at risk of lead entering their water through their household service line or plumbing.
Since homes build before 1951 are more likely to have lead service lines or household fixtures containing lead, we strongly encourage those who think they may be at risk to get their plumbing evaluated.
One way to determine if you have lead issues is by testing the water after it runs through your home’s plumbing system. If you are a Denver Water customer and are concerned that you are at risk, contact our lab for a free testing kit.
There also are potential water quality issues looming inside your home that you should be aware of. To learn more about problems that can arise within your home and what to do about them, read “PSA: Don’t drink or cook with hot water from the tap.”
It’s important to know that the experts at Denver Water work tirelessly 24/7/365 to ensure the water we provide is safe to drink — a responsibility we take very seriously.
But, to fully ease your concerns, it’s important that you spend some time learning about your water supply, risks and smart water-use practices in your own home, as well.
It starts with education, and we’re here to help. Check out TAP’s water quality and treatment section for stories and videos related to your water.