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Water Quality Fast Facts

  • Water is not released for drinking or household use until it meets or exceeds all state and federal drinking water regulations.
  • Fort Collins Utilities' state-of-the-art water treatment process removes contaminants from raw water coming from the Poudre River and Horsetooth Reservoir, two of Fort Collins' water sources.
  • Utilities' water quality experts continuously monitor incoming raw water quality to prevent potential contaminants from entering the treatment system. Staff analyzes the effects of fire-related runoff and adjusts the quantity of incoming source water and treatment processes to ensure drinking water meets or exceeds standards.
  • The real effects on untreated (raw) water quality following a fire occur during and after rainfall events located in the burn area. Rainfall can cause large amounts of sediment to run off burned slopes and into water sources. This could increase total organic carbon (TOC) and sediment levels to rise in raw water. TOC comes from decaying or burnt natural organic matter, such as soil, decaying vegetation, and animal and human waste.
  • Fort Collins Utilities is exploring options to address the financial impacts of mitigating fire damage in the watershed and addressing water quality concerns resulting from the fires.
  • Municipal utilities in Fort Collins and Greeley will contribute to the cost of mitigation for non-federal lands in the Poudre watershed, and are working with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NCRS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other groups to acquire federal assistance.
  • Utilities is collaborating with other water users, utilities that have experienced fires, Colorado State University, University of Colorado and Northern Water Conservancy District to respond to fire-related impacts in our watershed.
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