Denver Water’s response to COVID-19

Learn about the steps taken to ensure a safe, reliable drinking water supply for the metro area.

March 16, 2020 | By: TAP Staff

At Denver Water, we, like all of you, are closely monitoring and evolving our response to COVID-19.

Most importantly, the water we deliver is safe and there is no threat of COVID-19 in the water system.

Further, Denver Water, which serves 1.5 million people in the city and surrounding suburbs, follows drinking water regulations established by state and federal health officials designed to stop waterborne pathogens from contaminating drinking water, including a virus like COVID-19. The Environmental Protection Agency’s website has more information related to coronavirus and drinking water and wastewater.

There is no reason to filter your water for concerns of COVID-19.

In coming months, customers who are part of Denver Water’s ongoing Lead Reduction Program will begin receiving pitchers and filters certified to remove lead. The distribution of these filters, which will continue through the summer, is part of our Lead Reduction Program and has nothing to do with COVID-19.

Additionally, Denver Water — like many public agencies — has taken steps to keep its employees, partners, contractors and vendors safe and healthy.

The steps taken by Denver Water in response to COVID-19 include:

  • Reducing or freezing all nonessential business travel.
  • Using remote and virtual methods to meet with members of the public and vendors, where possible.
  • Postponing all tours of Denver Water facilities indefinitely.
  • Increasing the cleaning and disinfecting of work areas.
  • Dispersing personnel by having employees work from home, where possible, to reduce potential exposure to essential employees and those whose jobs cannot be done remotely.
  • Developing procedures for personnel who are working in common areas to maintain safe distances.
  • Closing Waterton Canyon, to help ensure employee and public safety. Hikers and bikers on the Colorado Trail should seek alternative access points during this time.
  • Closing the Administration Building to the public to protect the health of employees and the public.
Jose Valero Jr. in call center
Denver Water’s experienced Customer Care team is available to help customers with questions. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

Helping with hardships

Denver Water knows our community’s necessary response to COVID-19 will lead to economic hardships.

That’s why Denver Water has suspended all water shut-offs due to delinquent payment to ensure all customers have access to their drinking water.

As always, customers who are concerned about being able to pay their bill should contact the Denver Water Customer Care team at 303-893-2444, Monday-Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Customer Care team is experienced in working with customers to evaluate options, like payment plans, or connecting the customer with other resources, including Denver’s Temporary Rent and Utility Assistance program.

Pipe repairs and maintenance

Denver Water’s field crews will continue maintaining and repairing the infrastructure that supports the water system, including responding to main breaks and managing reservoirs.

Denver Water will limit water outages to emergencies only and has processes in place to restore water as quickly as possible at all times. Routine street projects that require temporary outages for more than one residence will be put on hold to ensure continuous water service in order to protect the safety and well-being of employees, customers and the community.

This means our crews will still need to be in the street so we can continue to deliver a reliable supply and we ask that the public give our operations crews the space they need to safely accomplish their work.

Denver Water dispatchers coordinate repair crews when water mains break.
Denver Water crews respond year-round to repair breaks in water delivery pipes buried under the street. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

Watching water use

Denver Water strongly backs health officials’ stance on regular and thorough handwashing. Some are wondering what an increase in this water use may mean for Denver’s water supply.

The utility has a collection, treatment and delivery system that’s designed to provide all the water that’s needed to support the community’s public health needs in times of emergencies.

The water planning team at Denver Water also routinely keeps a close eye on water use as it changes daily and seasonally. So far, no changes in water use due to increased handwashing or other changes have been noticed, but the planners will continue to monitor usage and make adjustments as needed to ensure a reliable water supply for the community.

Denver Water is working hard to maintain service levels and asks customers for patience as we adjust to quickly changing circumstances.

Additional resources and information on water quality related to COVID-19 is available via:

4 thoughts on “Denver Water’s response to COVID-19”

  1. You need to emphasize how the treatment processes insure the water is safe. Include information on the public health strides water treatment made in the past and how treatment has improved.
    Your Tap article has lots on protecting DW people but not much about protecting the consumers.

    1. Hi Bill,
      You’re right, public health experts and scientists have worked together for years to make sure the water is safe and ensuring a safe, reliable water supply for our customers is part of Denver Water’s core mission. There’s more information about the treatment processes Denver Water follows at denverwater.org. We also have done stories about the steps we follow here at TAP.

    1. Hi Antonio, thank you for your comment. We are working to develop similar content in Spanish. There is a tab in Español on our site and will be adding content as it becomes available.

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