Category Archives: Municipal Water in Colorado

Where does my water come from?

Kyra Binaxas

            Water distribution is a clear example of physical environments affecting political processes. The city of Boulder is very fortunate to have the water supply that it does. Based on the bodies of water that it owns, Boulder has made it so that it will have clean drinking water for its residents for decades to come!

The surrounding areas, however, do not seem to be as fortunate. Due to the striking amount of water available to be utilized for drinking this resource has become political. Boulder County rests on a location that makes companies that bottle water view it as having both positive situation and site factors. This makes it liked by companies that hold proximity to markets, along with the fact that tap water is essentially free therefor companies that bottle it and keep it close to their consumers are able to make a huge profit!

The city of Boulder owns the Silver Lake/ Lakewood watershed and the Arapaho Glacier- that is actually more like a permanent snowfield.

Boulder city also has senior water rights on middle boulder creek. Aside from these it also is capable of obtaining some water from the Colorado River after it is pumped through a funnel from Grand County. Boulder receives 40% of its drinking water from Barker reservoir on middle boulder creek, another 40% from the Silver Lake/ Lakewood watershed on North Boulder Creek, and then just 20% from the piece of the Boulder reservoir that is filled by the Colorado River. This puts the city of Boulders residents in a very favorable place when it comes to them having access to drinking water for decades to come. Other towns in Boulder County rely much more heavily on the Colorado River, nor do they have plans to meet water demands in coming decades.

Something for Boulder residents to consider-especially those residents that just reside in Boulder County, not city- is the fact that they live in and area with such a positive situation factor. The Boulder location makes it so that costs of transportation of goods- in this case water- is very minimal. Profits are high and there is plenty of water to go around! At least for now- if residents keep allowing big name companies to deplete their water source than it may not be so plentiful in the future. This positive situation factor allows for a positive site factor as well. Ultimately resulting in companies being capable of having proximity to markets. Meaning they are able to be as close to the consumer as possible without it costing them and money or inconvenience. Typically this results in the inconvenience of the residents whose resource is being depleted being of no concern, nor is it ever dealt with.

Boulder city holds ownership for many plentiful surrounding resources that provide large water supply, and this is not something to be taken fro granted. Hopefully in the decades to come all human beings that reside in Boulder cities surrounding areas as well as in Colorado will realize that their fantastic location is not one that should be taken advantage of by large corporations. Clean drinking water should always be a right and not a privilege. Following is a map of primary water Sources of the Boulder creek watershed. The main sources being numbers: 1- Middle Boulder creek, 2- North Boulder creek, Silver Lake, and finally 6- Main stem.

Works Cited

1) . N.p.. Web. 13 Nov 2013. <;.

2) . N.p.. Web. 13 Nov 2013. <;.

3) . N.p.. Web. 13 Nov 2013. <. N.p.. Web. 13 Nov 2013. .>.

Edited by:

Jessica Silvestri, Ellie Strandquist, Jennah Remain

Works Cited

1) . N.p.. Web. 13 Nov 2013. <;.

2) . N.p.. Web. 13 Nov 2013. <;.

3) . N.p.. Web. 13 Nov 2013. <. N.p.. Web. 13 Nov 2013. .>.

Edited by:

Jessica Silvestri, Ellie Strandquist, Jennah Reiman


Water in Longmont, Colorado.

Susana Gallegos

Alex Bullen


Vital Water


Water is a vital liquid that we need in order to survive. Most of the planet is composed of water and most of life on the planet needs and uses water on a daily basis. Many people do not value water as they should. Many do not even know where it comes from, or the process it takes for us to have drinkable water in our homes. This article will explain where water in Longmont comes from and how vital water is to our life.

According to humans can go with out water from eight to ten days, depending on the person and depending on the circumstances. Just our human body alone is made up of 60% water. But without water we would not be able to survive. It is a vital nutrient to the life of every cell in our body.  According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, our brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and our lungs are about 83% water.  And we must consume a certain amount of water to survive and thrive.


The quality of the water is also very important because water is a transporter of nutrients and it flushes and detoxifies our bodily systems.  So if our water is contaminated it can cause a multitude of many diseases such as cancer.  This is why we should know and be educated on where our water comes from because it will help us appreciate and value such an important resource. According to the City of Longmont our water originates from the Rocky Mountains thanks to the snow. When the snow melts, that water goes to Snit. Vrain Creek; after it can either go to Ralph Price Reservoir or to pipelines below Longmont Dam. Longmont also gets its water from Western Slope from the Colorado River it travels through different places until it gets into Longmont’s water treatment plants. After a cleansing process it then gets delivered through the city pipelines and is administered to us in our sinks.


We should appreciate our water, and help to reserve it and keep it clean because without water all living things such as animals and plants would die and without them we would not have food to eat or oxygen to breathe, so we too would die. The bottom line is that water is life and without water life would not exist.




Mitchell, H. H. “The Water in You.” Water Properties: (Water Science for Schools).  USGS, n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.


“That Water to Drink.” That Water to Drink. Survival Topics, n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.


“Where Does Our Water Comes From?” City of Longmont, n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2014.

The Source.

Kishan Pachhai

Prof Alex Bullen

GEO 106-101


The Source

            The city of Longmont doesn’t have its own supply of water. Longmont’s water originates in the Rocky Mountains mainly from snow melt. The city of Longmont’s drinking water is all surface water which is operated by Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. The sources of water are North St. Vrain Creek, South St. Vrain creek and St. Vrain Creek. (Map 1-1)  Snow melts as the weather gets warmer and runs down Saint Vrain Creek. From there, the water is either stored in Ralph Price Reservoir for later use or divided into pipelines below the Longmont damn to be delivered to water treatment plants. Another source for water is from the western slope from the Colorado River which is delivered through the Alva B. Adams tunnel, through Estes and Carter Lake. From there it is brought down to the Saint Vrain Supply canal into Longmont’s water treatment plants.

Longmont is lucky to have high quality water that originates in the mountain which runs through wilderness, and rarely affected by runoff from abandoned mines. According to the Longmont water quality report, some of the contaminants that may be present in the water are microbial which could be virus and bacteria coming from sewage treatment plant, agricultural livestock, and wildlife. Inorganic contaminants such as metals & salts, pesticides, herbicides, organic chemical and radioactive contaminants are also found in the water before the treatment. Lead is a metal that is found in natural deposit which is commonly used in household plumbing materials and water service lines. One of the concerns is swallowing lead or breathing in lead paint chips and dust which can cause a variety of health effects. In order to minimize the potential for lead exposure, flush your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking and cooking.

According to the water quality report, Longmont water involves several steps in water treatment. Steps included are coagulation where aluminum salts (chemicals called polymers) are mixed with water. Flocculation includes coagulated particles are slowly mixed. Sedimentation then takes place in which where water flows through a large tank and lets the water settles. Filtration is where water is passed through filters made of sand and anthracite coal, while disinfection is when chlorine is added to kill remaining bacteria. Fluoridation involves fluoride that is added to help prevent tooth decay and stabilization where small amounts of soda are added to make the water less corrosive to pipes and plumbing. After the treatment of water, it is delivered through transmission pipelines and all the treated water from storage tanks is also distributed through the pipelines. All these pipelines are located under the streets and alleys which connect to service lines, to provide water to homes and businesses with high quality of water. Some of the Cool facts about Longmont water are that 5.95 Billion gal used last year, 67,726 gallons were used during year per person, 861 million gallons used in peak month of august, 32.3 million gallon used on peak daily and 9,547 tests were done on the drinking water during the year of 2012 per water quality report from Longmont.

Edited By: Araceli, Jason, Susana

Pic 1-1Image

Pic 1-2Image

Map 1-1Image

Work Cited

Johnson, Brent. “Longmont’s 2013 Water Outlook.” Weekly Posting. Longmont Weekly. Times Call, 3 Mar. 2013. Web. 11 Nov. 2013. <;.

City of Longmont,. “Water Quality Report.” Drinking , Water Utilities, City of Longmont, Colorado. City of Longmont, 2002. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.

Superior’s Municipal Water.

Jason Miller


Water Paper

Superior’s Municipal Water

The town of Superior, Colorado gets its municipal water from Marshall Lake and Carter Lake. Both sources are classified as “intake/water surface”.

According to the 2013 Town of Superior Water Quality Report, Superior’s tap water is safe to consume. No violations or restrictions are in place at this time. The report states that there are contaminants in the water. However, they are at a low enough level for it to be safe, and the report states that most water contains contaminants to some degree without being dangerous. The report notes that sources of contamination are soil run off, erosion of natural deposits, discharge from drilling, and discharge from petroleum and metal refineries. Prominent contaminants are Turbidity, Gross Alpha, Combined Radium, Barium, Selenium, and Fluoride, the last which is due to erosion but is also added into the water to “promote strong teeth”.

Obviously, human actions have caused a lot of contaminants to enter the water. Activities such as farming, mining, and refining are well known in Colorado, especially near Boulder. Superior was founded on mining one hundred years ago, but is now just a suburb between Boulder and Denver. One hundred years ago, knowledge about poisonous materials derived from mining and refining was not as good as it is now, so it is likely that waste products from back then may still and be lingering in the local environment, especially the water.

Although the report states these chemicals are diluted enough to not be harmful, it is still a little concerning to know substances like Gross Alpha, Combined Radium, Barium, and Selenium are in our water. I already knew they put Fluoride into the water on basis of promoting health. Fluoride, however, is very poisonous and is the main ingredient in rat poison, so I wonder how exactly they determined it was okay for consumption.

It is important to know about the things that surround you, especially things you consume like air, food, and especially water. In many places, people die from drinking contaminated water, or die from dehydration because they know the water is contaminated and don’t want to drink it, but do not have access to purified water. If human beings keep dumping garbage into our water supplies, especially radioactive chemicals and poison, then many, many people will die, along with all the animals, fish, birds, and other species that all depend on water.

Map of Superior’s location.

Map of Marshall Lake’s location.


Town of Superior 2013 Water Quality Report. Rep. Town of Superior, 2012. Web. 13. Nov. 2013.

KW Boulder. Superior, CO. Map. Boulder: Keller Williams, n.d. Print.

“Google Maps.” Map. Google Maps. Google, n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.

Boulder: Where the Water Comes From.

Oren Paisner


Alex Bullen

Boulder: Where the Water Comes From

            As quoted by Ben Stiller in the movie Zoolander, “water is the essence of moisture, and moisture is the essence of life.” Although it’s a silly quote, there is some truth to it. Water is said to be the most valuable natural resource to humans. Without drinkable water, it is safe to say that the human race and all life would become extinct. Here in Colorado we are lucky to be in a threshold of fresh water that comes straight from accumulated snow in the Rocky Mountains. The town I currently live in, which is Boulder, gets its water from multiple sources.

40% of Boulders water comes from the Barker Reservoir which is fueled by the Middle Boulder Creek ( The Barker Reservoir is situated right in the town of Nederland. Using google maps I followed the trail of the Middle Boulder Creek all the way to the continental divide at the base of Mt. Neva, where there are two other reservoirs which Google Maps failed to provide the names of (


Another 40% of Boulders water comes from the Silver Lake watershed ( This watershed originates at the base of South Arapahoe Peak and is also an accumulation of snowfall that gets trapped into a series of lakes and reservoirs via the North Boulder Creek one of them being Silver Lake. The North Boulder Creek goes South-east from that point until it meets up with the Boulder Creek which simply goes down the Boulder Canyon into the city of Boulder.

The last 20% of Boulders water comes from the Boulder Reservoir which is supplied by the Boulder Feeder Canal ( The Boulder Reservoir encompasses nine square miles and is used for storing drinking water, swimming, fishing, boating, etc. The Boulder reservoir was built in 1955 along with the construction of the Boulder Feeder Canal by the Colorado Big Thompson and Windy Gap projects (


Water is the most sacred limited resource on earth to us humans and it is important that we protect it. That is why it is useful to understand where our water comes from so we can also be able to spot the warning signs of something negatively affecting our drinking water. It takes citizens like you and I doing their part to ensure a safer, healthier community.


Edited by: Nathan, Kyra and Jenna

For the love of water: A sign of the times in a region’s development.


          The small town of Longmont CO, nestled beneath the Rocky Mountains, benefits from a high-elevation water source.  Longmont’s water is principally derived from snowfall high in the Rockies, which melts and finds its way to the Saint Vrain Creek, a 32 mile long river formed from the North and South Saint Vrain creeks in Lyons, Colorado.  As the primary source of water for both Longmont and Colorado at large, the data of annual snowfall is closely monitored to help predict the availability of water for the state in the coming year.  While water, in its most basic sense, is certainly essential to human health and survival, it is also one of the principal sources of low-cost energy available in Longmont, and is sometimes known as hydroelectric powerStudying a region’s energy resource implementations, as well as the resources availability and quality, is one of many fundamental methods by which to measure a region’s development.

          The ways in which energy resources a
re utilized in a given region can tell much about its levels of development.  If a country is seen spending the majority of its energy resources on improving basic human necessities such as medical care, sufficient nutritional intake, and access to clean water, it is marked as a developing country.  If, however, a country spends its energy resources in ways such as advancing its various industries, increasing food production, and the transportation of both people and manufactured goods across inter and intraregional distances, it is a sign of a developed country.  Often, when a country demands a higher use of energy than that which it can reproduce, it is also indicative of a developed country. 

          Hydroelectric power is currently a leading source of renewable energy, and the most popular source for electricity after coal.  While many developing countries rely heavily upon this low-cost source of energy, the majority of developed areas do not utilize water as a main energy source and continue to rely upon non-renewable sources.     Interestingly, while the world’s energy uses are divided roughly in half between developed and developing countries, the population in a developed country is only about one third the population of a developing country.  Since developed areas of the world continue to consume the greatest quantities of energy, and consume it largely from non-renewable sources, it follows that eventually developed countries must begin to look more seriously into renewable energy in order to support their continued development. 

            As in other facets of energy resources, the monitoring of water’s quantity and usage not only tells where a country’s development levels are, but where they may be in future.  If the unsustainable use of resources is allowed to continue unchecked for too long, the effects will catch up with the community.  In the developed region of Colorado, Longmont has access to a clean and high-quality supply of water from its proximity to its neighboring mountain range. This makes it an ideal place to advance its usage of hydroelectric power and to leave behind its reliance on non-renewable energy.  This can only strengthen the area’s potential for greater development, and will promote its longevity and health as a community. 













Works Cited

Rubenstein, James. The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography. Pearson Education, Inc. 2014.

Pereira, Luis. Coping with Water Scarcity: Addressing the Challenges. Springer. 2009.

City of Longmont, Official Government Website. City of Longmont Civic Center. 2002.

Institute for Energy Resource. World Energy Consumption by Source, 2012. BP Statistical Review of World Energy. 2013.

Wikimedia Commons. Human Development Reports. March 18, 2013. August 24, 2011.


Edited by:

Emily Flora

Kyra Binaxas

Jessica Silvestri





/* Style Definitions */
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”,”serif”;

v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
.shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);}

Where our Water Comes From.

Araceli Garcia

The first settlers to come to Longmont chose to live near the St. Vrain River using stream water for their everyday needs including consumption, hygiene, and farming. Yet, not very many people live along the river today since it may pose a threat due to flooding. Our city decided to develop a water system in 1879, after struggling to put a fire out by filling buckets from the river.  This system now allows us to obtain water for our everyday needs, while living further from the river decreasing the risk of immediate flooding. It also illustrates the effect that geographical resources have on human behavior, and the changes we have created all to be in close proximity to the one substance needed to sustain life.

Our water flows some distance through the mountains to reach us, and we must therefore expect it to contain things such as bacteria, as well as material that we put into the environment such as pesticides and radioactive material as a result of farming and mining. The City of Longmont obtains its water from Ralph Price Reservoir, located about seven miles west of Lyons. The water in the reservoir comes from mountain watershed that flows down through the North St. Vrain Creek. The city runs three locations for water treatment which comes to a combined total of about 50 million gallons each day.  Union Reservoir, which is about three miles east of Longmont, is another source of water for the city, but is primarily used for farming.

Longmont’s drinking water is considered ‘soft’ since small amounts of dissolved minerals are left in the water. Water plants may have the ability to remove many substances including minerals from the water, and have the responsibility for testing its quality,although it has no control over the material that it may pick up from our plumbing systems after it leaves their location.

Edited by: Pricilla, Jacob, Susana

( Price Reservoir

( Union Reservoir


 Works Cited

“Water Resources.” City of Longmont. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.

    Rubenstein, James M.. The cultural landscape: An Introduction To Human Geography.  11th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2011. Print.

Emily Flora

Alex Bullen

Nov 13, 2013

Human geography

When Will the Problems Outweigh the Benefits?

Every populated region in the world has to get its water pumped throughout the city for its people so they can survive. However, several cities don’t get their water from within the city. More often the water is from somewhere else and then gets pumped through a series of pipes to the city. “Longmont, Co is a town of 88,669 people, measured in 2012. Longmont’s drinking water is all surface water that comes from the St. Vrain Watershed and from the Western Slope via the Colorado Big Thompson and Windy Gap projects operated by the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District”( City of Longmont). Throughout the years, Colorado elections have been dealing with the issues of sourcing clean water through fracking and drought prevention throughout Colorado.

Fracking has been an issue for several years not only in Colorado but throughout the United States of America. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of extracting natural gas from shale rock that is several layers deep within the earth. “Horizontal drilling (along with traditional vertical drilling) allows for the injection of highly pressurized fracking fluids into the shale area. Creating new channels within the rock from which natural gas is extracted at higher than traditional rates is a process that can take up to a month, while the drilling teams delve more than a mile into the Earth’s surface.”

(what is fracking) After this, the well is cased with cement to ensure groundwater protection, and the shale is hydraulically fractured with water and other fracking fluids. However, in the event that the wells’ cement encasement breaks, it will release into the underground water tables natural gas and other dangerous chemicals, making the water unclean and undrinkable. The debate is that while fracking does provide natural gas, it poses a threat to the safety of underground water; causing Politian’s to reconsider the overall benefits of fracking.

With Colorado’s climate changing in recent years, a rise in temperature brings a greater threat of drought to the state.  Politicians are debating what the best ways are to prevent more water from being lost. Climate change has an effect on several different facets in a region, including the frequency and severity of droughts throughout Colorado, population growth, the creation of dams and diversions, and the specific uses of water that people can freely implement. While counties in the state can put water restrictions on towns, it often comes into effect too late to recover the water that’s lost. This often takes months or even years to replenish that were once lost.  The building of dams and diversions re-directs the water away from certain water basins like the Colorado River that provides not only a source of water to people, but the ability to do water sports like white water rafting if there is a drought throughout the Colorado river the water may not deep enough for white water rafters to be able to raft and then putting small businesses out on the street. With the water levels dropping Politian’s are debating on what to do about it weather to increase the restrictions on the usage of water some answers should come within the next couple months.

In Colorado and throughout the United States of America water is being affected in more ways than is desirable through fracking, and water droughts. Although people don’t often realize there impact on water, Politian’s have are finding new ways to prevent these problems becoming bigger in the next couple years, by passing new laws and regulations. Even though it often takes a longtime for change to happen if it means saving water from being a thing we as humans will have to live without that is a necessity to life, than it is something that needs to be saved.

Work cited N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.

“Save The Colorado – River.” Save The Colorado – River. Reel Motion Media, 2010. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.

“What Is Fracking.” What Is Fracking. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.

“2012 Longmont Water Quality Report.” N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.


Colorado River. 2008. Photograph. By Enrique. Sept. 2008. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.  <;

.Fracking. 2011. Photograph. 2011. Web. 13 Nov. 2013. <;.

Water Filtration. N.d. Photograph. Longmont. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.

Reviewed by:

Gabrielle Strandquist

Shae Koualchick

Alex Gerwig


water1 LONGMONT_WATER water 3

The Water Origination of Longmont Colorado

By Nathaniel Lee

Water covers approximately seventy five percent of the Earth, and only one percent of that amount is drinkable. That one percent is spread out in areas across the Earth’s continents and the living beings than take what they can get. Some water is taken from areas in which they are fortunate enough to live close to a resource of water, and others have water transported to them, for they do not live close to any source of drinkable water, and cannot survive in the area they live in without it. Many, if not all water resources, are built off lakes, rivers, and streams, and are refilled based on the amount of rain or snowfall in the area. The State of Colorado’s water is built off a system like this, and is all tied to the snowfall within the Rocky Mountains, eventually reaching the town of Longmont.  Longmont, Colorado as some of the most natural, and cleanest water in the United States today.

The Water that ends up reaching most of Longmont’s stores, faucets, and showers come from the Rocky Mountains. During a normal Colorado winter, snow builds up, and when the spring comes, it begins to melt, draining into the closest rivers, creeks, and lakes. Most of the water drains into the St. Vrain River, and flows down toward the towns below the mountain.  The snow melts off the Western Slopes as well, flowing into the Colorado River, and eventually, into the St. Vrain. Longmont’s main water source comes from the St. Vrain River. The map above shows the water flow out of the mountains heading into various towns, including Longmont.

Once the water flows down to the town, it flows into various reservoirs, such as the Union reservoir, or the Ralph Price Reservoir.  Some of the water is than sent to either treatment plants, or stored in areas blocked by dams to be used later. Any water that flows past the dams then fall into various lakes downstream. The water sent to the treatment plants are than decontaminated, processed, and finally sent out to storage tanks under the streets, and are ready to use for anything that is attached to the unit.

The geography of Longmont makes a fortunate circumstance that allows easy access to water on a constant basis. Thanks to the changes in Colorado seasons, snowfall is guaranteed almost every year, and takes little effort to collect, since the water flows straight to the town’s location. Economic growth over the years has also allowed success in maintained treatment facilities and industries, giving the ability to store, treat, and transport water with ease. It is fortunate, for other towns and cities do not have access to any areas for water locally, and have to have water transported from other places. Transporting water over long distances has a risk of ruining the water. Local water is sent over short distances after the water is treated, which allows it to be transported safely, and maintain a healthy standard. It is never a guarantee that bottles of water transported over vast distances will be as healthy as getting water from a close, local location.

Thanks to the location’s geography, Longmont has clean, safe, and easily accessible water.  The well-established water industry, some say, is why Longmont is said to have some of the healthiest water you can get on Earth.

Edited by:

Oren Paisner

Jennah Reiman

Samuel Oliver


Rochat, Scott. “Longmont observes 130 Years since First City Pipeline.” Longmont Times Call. 24 Sept, 2012. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.

 “Where does Our Water Come From?”  City of Longmont FAQ and City Source. City Of Longmont. 2002. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.

“Water Treatment.” City Of Longmont Water Treatment, Water Utilities, PWNR. City Of Longmont. 28 Aug, 2009. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.