Boulder owns and operates two water treatment plants
- Betasso Water Treatment Plant
- Boulder Reservoir Water Treatment Plant
Together, the two water treatment plants have the capacity to treat approximately 55 million gallons (about 170 acre feet*) of water per day and approximately 6.5 billion gallons (20,000 acre feet*) of water per year. From the water treatment plants, water is delivered to customers through several hundred miles of treated water pipelines.
In most years, the majority of this water flows from the Betasso Water Treatment Plant via gravity and a smaller amount is pumped into the city water system from Boulder Reservoir Water Treatment Plant.
Both water treatment plants are operated and maintained 365 days of the year. The Betasso plant operates 24 hours a day and the Boulder Reservoir plant operates year-round to meet increased demand for water.
* One acre foot is equal to approximately 325,851 gallons, which is the approximate amount of water that two typical three-member households use in one year.
Water is sampled and tested every two hours throughout the water treatment process. This sampling is performed to make sure the plant processes are working properly and to guarantee that the water is potable before it leaves the plant. Potable water is defined as drinking water that meets all federal and state standards.
Located in the foothills west of Boulder, the city's primary water treatment plant processes water from Barker and Lakewood reservoirs.
During most of the year, water is pumped directly from the reservoir itself. From May through October, the plant may divert water directly from the Boulder Feeder Canal. Most of the water in the canal comes from Carter Lake and is much less mineralized (softer) than the water in Boulder Reservoir.