Hundreds of people enjoyed a day of fun and sun on Aug. 10 at Denver Water’s 100th anniversary celebration at Waterton Canyon.
The event drew Denver Water employees, their families, retirees and partnering water providers from across the Denver metro area to the canyon and the site of the old Kassler water treatment plant.
The plant, built in 1901, was a cornerstone of Denver’s water system until its retirement in 1985.
It was a fitting site for the organization to hold its celebration of the 100-year anniversary of Denver residents’ vote on Aug. 6, 1918, to create a five-member Board of Commissioners, which culminated in the formation of Denver Water. The organization today employs 1,100 people who deliver clean, safe, reliable drinking water for 1.4 million people in Denver and many surrounding suburbs.
“It’s like an old-fashioned family picnic for Denver Water and the Denver Water family,” said Jim Lochhead, CEO/Manager of the organization.
The event included fishing, food trucks and music by Pennies on the Track, a band that includes current and former Denver Water employees. Many families biked along Waterton Canyon, viewed wildlife — including the popular bighorn sheep of Waterton — and toured Strontia Springs Dam, 6.5 miles up the road from the Kassler site.
For many of the employees and partners, the tours were the first time they’d seen the dam, which was completed in 1983 and rises 243 feet above the streambed of the South Platte River.
The celebration also was an opportunity to view “Written in Water: Reflections on a Century of Service,” a 46-minute film that looks at how a reliable water supply enabled Denver’s growth and Denver Water’s relationships with people and communities across Colorado.
Also showing at the site’s old pump house was “Journey of Water,” a new four-part series of short films that goes behind the scenes of Denver Water to explore the people and the system that brings water from the snow-capped mountains into the home.
Lochhead said the celebration was a chance to reflect on Denver Water’s past, present and future.
“We’re so proud to have served the Denver community for 100 years, and we look forward to another 100 years of service,” he said.