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ELCO Water Quality

Even though ELCO's water originates in pristine areas high in the Rocky Mountains, it undergoes extensive treatment and testing at the Soldier Canyon Filter Plant. All public water suppliers must meet stringent water quality criteria set by the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA has established maximum contaminant levels for compounds that may have an adverse effect on human health.

Water from the Soldier Canyon Filter Plant consistently meets or exceeds all water quality standards established by the EPA. Over 7,000 tests are conducted at the Filter plant each year to ensure that ELCO water meets all applicable drinking water standards. To make sure water quality is maintained all the way to the customer, approximately 130 tests are performed each month on water supply samples collected throughout the District. District personnel also flush water from fire hydrants each year to clean out the pipes that deliver water to ELCO customers.

Fire hydrant flushing and water main breaks may stir up sediment that has settled in the pipes. Most of the sediment is manganese from Horsetooth Reservoir. The filter plant removes most of the manganese but a small amount still gets through. Manganese is not harmful, but it may taste bad and make tap water look like weak tea. Water quality problems are usually temporary. Customers who notice a change in their water are encouraged to contact the ELCO office. ELCO water is completely safe for drinking, cooking, bathing and other household uses. There is no need to perform additional treatment on water delivered by ELCO.

Small amounts of chlorine and flouride are added to the water as it leaves the Soldier Canyon Filter Plant. Chlorine is added to kill any bacteria which may still be in the water. Fluoride is added to help reduce tooth decay. Some customers may not like the taste of soft water or may prefer to drink water that does not contain chlorine or fluoride. Those customers may want to buy bottled water or install a home treatment device for these reasons. Customers who drink bottled water or water from a home treatment device should do so because they prefer the taste, not out of concern for the safety of water provided by ELCO.