Water Quality FAQs

Yes, our water more than meets all regulatory mandates and never has violated any standard. Drinking water is regulated through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Environmental Protection Agency.

LTWD’s raw water (untreated) comes primarily from Carter Lake, a water reservoir of the Northern Water’s Colorado Big Thompson Project or C-BT. C-BT water is collected in western slope reservoirs and transported through the Alva B. Adams Tunnel to Mary’s Lake, Lake Estes, Pinewood and Flatiron Reservoirs and finally pumped to Carter Lake.

Water can pick up tastes and odors from new pipe, from low usage in the treated water system or from natural elements in the source water. Taste and odor events often occur seasonally during blooms of algae or aquatic plants. Although the plant material is removed during treatment, sometimes the odors persist. Tastes and odors in treated water are not harmful, but we do take steps to try and eliminate them.

The discoloration is usually rust from aging pipes. It is not harmful, but is aesthetically displeasing. Discoloration of the water also can be a result of disturbances in the water line due to using a hydrant improperly, installing new pipe, or shutting off the water to a local area for system maintenance. Home plumbing can also cause discoloration of the water.

Your tap water is safe to drink without a water filter. If you have an internal problem with your plumbing or your home has a lead service line or plumbing that contains lead, you may want to consider a filter or treatment system.

Many bottled water companies use tap water as the source. Currently, bottled water is not as heavily regulated or tested as tap water. Instead bottled water is regulated through the Food and Drug Administration and is considered a food product. Additionally, water utilities are required to release information on their water’s quality and bottled water companies are not.

Please read the advisory in the Annual Drinking Water Quality Report posted on this website for more information on Lead in the Drinking Water. If you have questions, please contact our office at (970) 532-2096.

No, LTWD water comes from surface water such as lakes and streams to produce drinking water. Radon is not found in surface waters.

Carter Lake Filter Plant adds the following chemicals to the water:

  • Coagulants and polymers which causes particles in the water to stick together for removal by filtration.
  • Chlorine dioxide is added to control algae and taste and odor problems commonly found in raw water.
  • Soda ash and/or sodium hydroxide is added to maintain pH levels.
  • Fluoride is found naturally in our water and is added as needed to meet the recommended guidelines set by the state health department.
  • Poly-orthophosphates are added for corrosion control.
  • Chlorine is added as a protection against viruses, bacteria, and other micro-organisms that might remain after the filtration process.

All chemicals we use in our processes are certified as food grade or meet ANSI/NSF 60 Standards for Drinking Water Additives and they meet AWWA standards.

All natural waters contain minerals and some chemicals absorbed as it flows over rocks and soils. The EPA has identified more than 80 potential contaminants that when present at levels above established limits (Maximum Contaminant Level or MCL) may be a health threat. For more information, please view the latest Annual Drinking Water Quality Report posted on this website.

It is highly unlikely that toxic spills in the ground or groundwater could contaminate the drinking water since the treated water system is enclosed. Find more information on protection of our source water at the Big Thompson Watershed Forum’s website at the following link bigthompson.co.

Cold tap water can be stored for about two weeks if kept sealed, away from light and cold or at least cooled, in a clean, amber or foil-covered glass or hard plastic container.

Even the best water can get stale and taste unpleasant if not used sufficiently or if the pipes contain sediment. Flushing is vital, especially in areas where water usage is low.

It is not advisable to drink or use hot water from the tap for consumption or food or beverage preparation. Hot water systems (tanks, boilers) contain metallic parts that corrode over time and contaminate the hot water.

Always use a dechlorinating agent for chloramine.

Most customers who call about hardness are inquiring for detergent usage amounts, or for adding tap water to their irons or humidifiers. The units of measurement for most appliances are in grains per gallon, but we measure in milligrams per liter.

Hardness in water is defined as the sum of the calcium and magnesium concentrations (salts), expressed as calcium carbonate. The hardness of the water varies with the amounts of these salts. They originate when subterranean and surface waters absorb minerals, including compounds of calcium and magnesium carbonates, bicarbonates, sulfates and chlorides – giving water its hardness. Hard or soft waters are not health concerns, but may result in a mineral taste (hard) or a flat, unpleasant taste (soft).

General guidelines for classification of waters are: 0 to 60 mg/L (milligrams per liter) as calcium carbonate is classified as soft; 61 to 120 mg/L as moderately hard; 121 to 180 mg/L as hard; and more than 180 mg/L as very hard.

The average total hardness of LTWD’s finished water is approximately 32.00 mg/L. (Value from 2022)