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Drinking Water Quality

Drinking Water Background

The City of Boulder is fortunate to have several high quality water sources including the reservoirs and streams in North Boulder and Middle Boulder Creek Watersheds, and diversions from the upper Colorado River via Carter Lake and Boulder Reservoir. Integrating watershed and water quality monitoring with source water protection and drinking water treatment help to ensure that Boulder’s residents and commuters receive high quality drinking water. Every year, more than 25,000 drinking water quality tests are performed to ensure Boulder’s water meets or exceeds all federal and state drinking water regulations and to solve any potential problems quickly. The city has also established drinking water quality goals that are more restrictive than regulations require.

To learn more about your drinking water and Boulder’s drinking water quality, review the Get to Know Your Drinking Water Summary. pdf The Annual Drinking Water Quality Reports sent to customers each year are available in the links below.  

In July and October 2017, the city issued water quality notifications regarding violations of the water quality standard for haloacetic acids. This was not an emergency and did not require using an alternate water source. All other drinking water standards were met during this period. To learn more about the issue, visit this page.

Water Quality Monitoring

To protect water resources, Boulder has implemented a comprehensive water quality monitoring program for over 30 years. Water quality samples are routinely collected from long-term stream and lake sites throughout the Boulder Reservoir watershed and the Boulder Creek Watershed. Water quality is also monitored during the drinking water treatment process, and throughout the city’s water distribution system to business and residential taps. Samples are analyzed for basic chemistry (e.g., pH, alkalinity), nutrients, bacteria, sediments, organic chemicals (e.g., disinfection byproducts, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, personal care products), metals and radionuclides. Data are routinely analyzed using statistical methods to characterize and evaluate water quality.

Source Water Protection

Protecting the city’s drinking water at its source can help to prevent contamination and minimize treatment needs and costs. The city recognizes watershed protection as a proactive approach to preserving the integrity of its water supply. The city takes an active role in addressing issues that may impact water quality such as wildfire, stormwater, abandoned mines, and aquatic nuisance species. Recognizing that there is the potential for source water contamination from existing and future sources, the city worked with watershed stakeholders to document and further implement a  Source Water Protection Plan. pdf


Drinking Water Quality[email protected] 303-413-7350


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