FAQs

Water

Is my water safe to drink?
Parker Water and Sanitation District meets all regulatory mandates for clean water. Testing is done using sophisticated equipment and advanced procedures. Water quality is regulated by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

What causes Red/Brown water?
Discolored (Red) water is caused by naturally occurring minerals in well water. Households may experience discolored water during times of hydrant flushing and district water line maintenance. If this happens, avoid doing laundry since the discolored water can stain clothing. If staining does occur, please avoid drying the clothing. Call 303-841-4627 between the hours of 7:30 am and 4:00 pm and Parker Water and Sanitation District will provide you with Iron Out, an iron stain removal powder. After flushing or maintenance is completed in your area, run cold water to clear any discolored water in your service lines.
Put this water to good use by watering plants or grass through a garden hose. The discolored water poses no health risk to people or animals.

How often does Parker Water test water for contaminants?
The Safe Drinking Water Act mandates an annual test and "Consumer Confidence Report," to explain important aspects of our water such as where it comes from and the level of contaminants as compared to allowable measurements. Beyond that, Parker Water tests weekly for bacteria in order to ensure safety and quality.

Is there fluoride in my water?
PWSD does not add fluoride to our water. The fluoride in the water is naturally occurring. Parker Water and Sanitation strictly follows the Colorado Primary Drinking Water Regulations. We test for fluoride every 3 years. The range at last testing was 0.8 – 2 ppm. The maximum contaminant level allowed is 4 ppm.

Are there regulations for safety and pollution?
Yes. Water quality is regulated by both the EPA and the Colorado Health Department. Parker meets and exceeds all quality standards.

Is there lead in my water?
The tiny trace amount contained in PWSD water is within acceptable, non-harmful levels and comes mainly from corrosion of household plumbing. Homes that are either very old (pre-WWII with lead pipes) or homes built between 1982 and 1987 using copper pipe with lead-based solder (later banned) are those at highest risk. Flushing tap water for 30 seconds to 2 minutes is effective in reducing lead. For more information, contact PWSD.

Do I need a water filter?
A water filter is not really needed in our District as the water coming into your home is routinely tested and is completely healthy for everyday drinking use.  However, if you would like a water filter, stop by the District office and we’ll be happy to give you a FREE faucet aerator (while supplies last)!

 

Water Efficiency Tips

What is the absolute best way to save water?
Re-examine your landscape and convert to drought-tolerant plants, trees, shrubs, flowers, and grasses.  54% of your water bill goes outside!  Replacing sections of traditional turf grass or other water-thirsty plant materials and improving inefficient watering habits are THE biggest ways you can realize long-term savings on your water bill.  Not to mention the thousands of gallons you’ll be saving, too.  You can have a beautiful garden AND save water and money.  Many of our residents already do.  Come to the many FREE workshops our water sustainability specialist (Craig Miller) hosts at Tagawa Gardens. Learn More...

How do I read my water meter to detect leaks?
First, locate your meter (the majority of meters in Parker Water & Sanitation District are in the basement).  Make a note of the meter reading. If the leak detector indicator is moving, there is water moving through the meter.

Next, turn off all fixtures in and around your home, and don’t use any water for an hour.  Then go back and check the reading on the meter, if it has changed, you have a leak or leaks!

How does a water leak affect my water bill?
A 1/32” drip can waste 6,166 gallons per month.
A 1/16” trickle can waste 24,666 gallons per month.
A 1/8” stream can waste 98,666 gallons per month.
A 1/4” stream can waste 393,833 gallons per month.
Obviously, making sure your toilets and other fixtures are free from leaks can save you a lot of money.

How often should I check for household water leaks?
We recommend you check for water leaks twice a year; after winter season when pipes can freeze and crack and again during summer when irrigation systems are working full force.

General District

What is a special district?
The District is a quasi-governmental entity that operates as a special district. The District is established under title 32 of the Colorado State Statute as a political subdivision of the State of Colorado. It is quasi-governmental because it is a taxing entity and has all the powers of a government entity except law enforcement.

Wastewater

What is wastewater?
Nature has an amazing ability to cope with small amounts of water wastes and pollution, but it would be overwhelmed if we didn't treat the billions of gallons of wastewater and sewage produced every day before releasing it back to the environment. Treatment plants reduce pollutants in wastewater to a level nature can handle. If the term "wastewater treatment" is confusing to you, you might think of it as "sewage treatment."

Basically, wastewater is used water, however, it includes substances such as human waste, food scraps, oils, soaps and chemicals. In homes, this means water from sinks, showers, bathtubs, toilets, washing machines and dishwashers. Businesses and industries also contribute their share of used water that must be cleaned.

Why treat wastewater?
It's a matter of caring for our environment and for our own health. There are a lot of good reasons why keeping our water clean is an important priority for all of us:

  • Fisheries
    Clean water is critical to plants and animals that live in water. This is important to the fishing industry, sport fishing enthusiasts, and future generations.
  • Wildlife Habitats
    Our rivers and ocean waters teem with life that depends on shoreline, beaches and marshes. They are critical habitats for hundreds of species of fish and other aquatic life. Migratory water birds use the areas for resting and feeding.
  • Recreation and Quality of Life
    Water is a great playground for us all. The scenic and recreational values of our waters are reasons many people choose to live where they do. Visitors are drawn to water activities such as swimming, fishing, boating and picnicking.
  • Health Concerns
    If it is not properly cleaned, water can carry disease. Since we live, work and play so close to water, harmful bacteria have to be removed to make water safe.

The major aim of wastewater treatment is to remove as much of the suspended solids as possible before the remaining water, called effluent, is discharged back to the environment. As solid material decays, it uses up oxygen, which is needed by the plants and animals living in the water. "Primary treatment" removes about 60 percent of suspended solids from wastewater. This treatment also involves aerating (stirring up) the wastewater, to put oxygen back in. Secondary treatment removes more than 90 percent of suspended solids.

Stormwater

What is stormwater?
Stormwater is rainwater, snowmelt, or even water from a garden hose or car wash that runs off of a surface (like driveways, parking lots, or rooftops) and goes into a gutter, ditch, or roadside drain, and ultimately into the storm drain system. In our area, stormwater does not go to a treatment plant, so any pollutants carried in the stormwater are discharged into waterways and the environment.

Do sanitary sewer systems and stormwater systems flow through the same pipes?
No. Sanitary sewer systems flow to a treatment plant, whereas stormwater systems flow directly into the creeks, rivers, and lakes without the benefit of treatment.  Watch H2O Jo Takes a Trip Down the Storm Drain <http://npscolorado.com/h2oJomovie.htm> to learn more.

Can paint, solvents, and used motor oil be safely disposed of into a stormwater system?
No. Only rainwater should be entering the stormwater system. Anything else could be considered an illicit discharge and a violation of local, state, and federal laws. Tri-County Health Department provides information on how to dispose of Household Hazardous Wastes (HHW) <http://www.tchd.org/householdchemical.htm> in your community.

Are grass clippings, garden trimmings, and fallen leaves a source of water pollution?
Yes. These items generally contain a high percentage of fertilizers and chemicals, which impacts the quality of water. Organic materials such as grass clippings deplete the oxygen level in the water, which is harmful to aquatic life.  Yard waste can clog the storm drain system and cause flooding of neighborhood streets. Sweeping yard waste into the street or storm inlet could be considered an illicit discharge and a violation of local, state, and federal laws.

Do storm drain inlets remove pollutants?
No. Storm drain inlets, the metal grate and/or curb opening that allow surface water to enter the storm water drainage system, are connected directly to storm pipes that flow straight into our creeks, rivers, and lakes.

How can I help reduce stormwater pollution in my area?
Participate in the next creek cleanup in your area. Storm drain stenciling events – where the destination of storm water is clearly marked on the drain – are a fun way to let your neighbors know the storm drain is only for rain. Attend public hearings or meetings on the topic so you can express your concerns. Report <http://onethingisclear.org/contact.html> stormwater violations when you spot them to your local government. Keep learning about polluted stormwater runoff and tell a friend!

If you have a question that is not answered here, please e-mail us and we will get back to you promptly.