We’ll be there, even on Labor Day

A behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to keep the water flowing 24/7/365.

August 30, 2018 | By: Kristi Delynko

Since 1882, the U.S. has celebrated Labor Day, a national tribute to the American worker’s contributions to the social and economic strength of our country. And while many celebrate the holiday with a relaxing day away from their jobs, some Denver Water employees will still be hard at work.

Ensuring 1.4 million people receive high-quality drinking water is a 24/7 operation. Here’s a glimpse at what some of our employees will be doing today — and every day — to make sure our customers have the water they need.

From accountants to welders, Denver Water has nearly 1,100 employees working in more than 200 positions. It truly takes a village to bring water to our customers every day.

Dispatch, Pete Garduno
Pete Garduno answers a call to Denver Water’s central dispatch. A customer reports water bubbling up in the middle of a busy intersection. Pipes can break at all hours of the day, and we have to be ready to respond. The central dispatch team works like a police or fire department dispatch center to coordinate response so we can minimize the impact on our customers.

 

Emergency Service team working at night
Even in the dark, members of the Emergency Services team are Denver Water’s first responders. They handle anything from shutting off water so crews can repair pipe breaks, to supporting Denver firefighters during multi-alarm blazes, to assisting customers with water quality complaints.

 

Senior utility technician Daniel Ruvalcaba fixes an underground leak
Water mains burst when they want to, and usually at inopportune times, like when it’s dark and chilly. After Emergency Services responds to a call, a Water Distribution crew — including pipeline mechanic Daniel Ruvalcaba — fix the problem so customers can have water service restored as soon as possible.

 

Aaron Benko, sr treatment tech
Long after many of us have gone to bed, staff at our three drinking water treatment plants are hard at work. They gear up overnight when water use is low, to ensure the plants can meet customers’ needs during the day, when demand is higher.

Our drinking water plants are staffed around-the-clock by operators and maintenance personnel like senior water treatment technician Aaron Benko, who monitor the treatment processes and run lab tests to ensure the water we deliver (sometimes at the rate of 350,000 gallons a minute) meets all the federal and state regulations, and even tighter Denver Water standards.

 

Load Control, Phil Malone
Coffee percolates and the dark room glows from monitors that cover entire walls in Systems Operations (also known as Load Control). Distribution operators like Phil Malone work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, scanning various computer screens to make sure our 30 treated water reservoirs, more than 3,000 miles of pipe, 140 pressure zones and 23 pump stations are ready for the morning load as our customers wake and prepare for their day.

With a water system as large and complex as ours, pumps, facilities, even entire pipelines occasionally go down for service, maintenance or repair. Operators must constantly respond to alarms that signal potential real-time problems with everything from equipment and instrumentation to water quality and pressure.

We provide customers an average of 64 billion gallons of high-quality drinking water and 2 billion gallons of treated recycled water every year. No small task, but it’s all in a day’s work at Denver Water.

2 thoughts on “We’ll be there, even on Labor Day”

  1. I have been studying water issues for a number of years and I have a few questions:

    1. For just Denver, how many people can the current capacity actually support?
    2. Is Denver contracted to support any other metro city?
    3. The current growth rate in Denver is very alarming and water taps are being issued by the 1,000s and my concern is for the future. According to you own figures, you are pumping at 120%. What does that really mean?

    1. Hi James, thank you for reading and hope you are enjoying our articles. Here are some answers to your questions:
      1. For just Denver, how many people can the current capacity actually support?
      Denver Water serves 1.4 million people in the Denver Metro area. About half of the population served live outside the boundary of the City and County of Denver. Denver Water uses scenario planning to plan for a variety of uncertainties in the future. This means that we manage water supply and demand with careful research and analysis regarding streamflow, diversions, climate, customer demand and population estimates to ensure there will be an adequate supply of clean, reliable water well into the future.

      2. Is Denver contracted to support any other metro city?
      Inside Denver, Denver Water provides water supply pursuant to the Charter of the City and County of Denver. Outside Denver, Denver Water provides water supply pursuant to contract. This map shows the cities and municipalities within Denver Water’s service area.

      3. The current growth rate in Denver is very alarming and water taps are being issued by the 1,000s and my concern is for the future. According to you own figures, you are pumping at 120%. What does that really mean?
      We are always watching the trends in growth and development as well as keeping an eye on future projections of growth in the service area as we plan our system. It is well known that Denver and the surrounding areas have been growing very rapidly the last few years, but our customers continue to do an incredible job using water efficiently.
      In fact, we’re seeing that on average the current total volume of annual demand in the service area is about what it was in the early 1970s despite an 500,000 additional people living in the service area!
      With respect to you question about pumping at 120%, I’m not totally sure what figures you are referencing. If you could clarify we may be able to get some information.

      If you need anything further, feel free to reach us at publicinformation@denverwater.org

Post a Comment

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