If you’ve ever had a glass of Colorado tap water, you know how crisp and fresh it tastes. But you might be wondering where the water in your faucet comes from. Using the Front Range as an example, allow us to paint a picture for you….
It begins with precipitation. When the leaves start changing on the aspen trees and the days get a little shorter, rain and snow start falling on our beautiful Rocky Mountains. In the high country, the powdery snow can get hundreds of inches
deep over the winter!
In the spring, the snow and ice start melting, bringing our ski season to an end. Much of that snowmelt travels to mountain reservoirs. Here, the water is stored until the next phase.
From the mountain reservoirs, water from the snowmelt is carried by streams and travels through man-made tunnels that weave under the wild Rocky Mountain terrain. It then ends up in Front Range reservoirs, like Strontia Springs Reservoir in Waterton Canyon, a popular recreation spot for cyclists, hikers and fishers.
From there, the water goes to water treatment plants. It goes through a process that
includes filtering, disinfection and more to make sure it’s safe to drink.
“Drinking water” then goes through pumping stations and distribution pipes until it finally arrives at your home. Millions of Coloradans drink it, clean with it, use it to brush their teeth, and so much more!
Are you wondering what happens to the water that goes back down the drain? It can be recycled and sold to customers, like parks and sports complexes, as non-potable (i.e., to water the grass). On the Front Range, it can also be put back into the South Platte River where it continues its journey through the water cycle.
We are lucky to live in a state where, in many cases, the water flows from the mountains into our faucets! In Colorado, the tap water we get from the mountains often has enough naturally occurring fluoride to help protect against tooth decay. In fact, fluoride was discovered here! Water fluoridation was even named one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. Fluoridated tap water is especially great for protecting and reinforcing the thin enamel on baby teeth.
Take advantage and drink tap water every chance you get! It improves your oral health as well as your overall health. For more information on the purity of Denver’s water, click here.