Drinking Water Week is a great opportunity to celebrate and focus on the men and women that provide safe, reliable and high-quality drinking water to our homes, businesses, and schools.
Recently I traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies yearly spring conference. At the conference there were numerous political speakers who highlighted various areas associated with drinking water. Congressman Paul Tonko from New York began his speech with a simple but powerful statement: “Every life and every job depend on clean water.” Congressman Tonko is the Chairman of the Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee, dedicating his political career to water quality. Congressman Tonko understands our livelihood is intrinsically connected to clean water.
In Colorado Springs, we know our water system is one of the most complex systems in the State of Colorado, if not the country. However, it is important to remember that this system cannot function successfully without the dedicated and essential men and women of the Water Services Division to operate, maintain, protect and enhance it.
With no major river nearby, more than 70 percent of our drinking water is delivered to the community from high mountain reservoirs, which can be located 100 miles away. In fact, much of our raw water delivery system travels across 10 Colorado counties.
In all, our water delivery, treatment and distribution systems include 25 water storage reservoirs that we maintain, 259 miles of raw water pipe, six treatment plants, 37 water storage tanks and 2,123 miles of distribution pipe.
Every individual in the Water Services Division contributes to the system operating and functioning properly, it does not matter if they are engineers, planners, lawyers, pipefitters or leak survey specialists. I am proud and honored to serve alongside these selfless individuals in providing our customers with the best water on the Front Range, and yes, I am terribly and shamelessly bias.
As consumers, we also must be leaders in protecting our own drinking water, and continue to provide that protection to our downstream neighbors’ water. It doesn’t take much to make a big difference. Here are a few things you can do: