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Water Quality#

water pouring into more water

Fort Collins Utilities monitors water quality in three areas:

  • Source waters: Upper Cache la Poudre River and Horsetooth Reservoir (where our water comes from)
  • Treated drinking water
  • Treated water returned to the environment and the Lower Poudre River above and below the water reclamation facilities

The watersheds where our water comes from consist of the large areas of land that drain snowmelt and rainfall waters to the Poudre River and the Big Thompson River, Horsetooth Reservoir and other components of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project. Watershed monitoring and protection involves minimizing the negative impacts to the quality of these waters from activities on both land and water.

After wastewater is treated at our water reclamation facilities to meet or exceed all state and federal pollution control standards, it is returned to the environment where it is collaboratively monitored to protect the Poudre River downstream.

Hot Topics#

Cameron Peak Fire

Wildfire Water Quality Impacts and Recovery

In 2020, we experienced two of the worst wildfires in Colorado history bringing raising about future source water quality and availability.

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Running faucet

COVID-19 Impacts to Water Quality

Your drinking water is safe to use from your tap as usual, as confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and American Water Works Association (AWWA).

Algal Blooms

Algal Blooms

Algal blooms can be caused by a variety of algae and can occur in natural water bodies under certain environmental conditions.

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Personal care products

Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC)

The Emerging Contaminant Program is a collaborative monitoring program initiated by Northern Water in 2008 that monitors more than 150 contaminants in source water supplies. Check out this CEC infographic for details.

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Safe disposal practices for unused prescription and over-the-counter medications are important to keep pharmaceuticals out of water bodies.

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Fort Collins Neighborhood

Safe Water Action Program (SWAP) - Galvanized Line Replacement

Less than 1,000 water service lines within Fort Collins Utilities service area are either of an unknown material or are galvanized with a lead gooseneck. We have a long-standing policy to immediately remove lead goosenecks upon discovery.

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Watershed Monitoring Programs#

Upper Poudre River

Source Water Monitoring and Protection

Since the late 1980s, Fort Collins Utilities has conducted water quality monitoring of its drinking water sources.

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Lower Poudre River

Lower Poudre Monitoring

The Lower Cache la Poudre Water Quality Monitoring Program is a part of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) most comprehensive environmental leadership program: Performance Track.

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Presedimentation Basin

Presedimentation Basin

Fort Collins Utilities constructed a presedimentation basin to remove sediment in the Poudre River caused by forest fires.

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Best Tasting Water in the Rocky Mountain Section 2019#

Pictured left to right: 3rd Place City of Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities, Wyoming (Dena Egenhoff), 2nd place Aurora Water (Ralph Liedholdt), 1st place City of Fort Collins (Gregg Stonecipher) and RMSAWWA Taste Testing Chair (Aaron Benko).

Fort Collins Utilities won the “Best of the Rocky Mountain Section” water at the 2019 annual conference of the Rocky Mountain Section of the American Water Works (RMSAWWA) in Keystone, Colorado. Second place was awarded to Aurora Water, Colorado with the City of Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities, Wyoming coming in third.