Tap water testing postcards not affiliated with Ute Water
Over the past several days, a flurry of customer calls have been made to the District inquiring about a yellow/gold postcard that they received in the mail. The first round of postcards stated that it was a tap water test notification and urged customers to respond immediately. The second round of postcards stated that it was a second notice, and that the resident has not scheduled a tap water test. The postcard then goes on to state that the tap water in Grand Junction needs a yearly water test. Third-party testing of this nature is often designed to induce a homeowner to purchase a point-of-use device and is not required by the District or the Safe Drinking Water Act. Photos of both postcards, given to Ute Water by District customers, are pictured below.
Ute Water is not affiliated with and does not endorse the company that is responsible for sending these postcards. Ute Water takes great pride in providing high-quality domestic water to over 85,000 customers and employs some of the best water professionals in the state to maintain our high standards of water quality. Ute Water is required to test and monitor for a variety of contaminants in our source water, throughout the treatment process, and within the distribution system. The frequency of testing is primarily determined by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment through their implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
If Ute Water needed to test water at a specific property, the District would coordinate a visit with the appropriate homeowner and would communicate the specifics of the visit prior to arriving to the residence.
Maintaining water quality through sampling and testing
Ute Water produces an annual Water Quality Report in accordance with the State of Colorado and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). These reports are also recognized as Consumer Confident Reports. The annual Water Quality Report can be found here, or a paper copy can be requested by contacting the District. The Water Quality Report is a great resource to learn more about the District's treatment process and the substances that are tested for in drinking water.
The District’s laboratory is certified by the State of Colorado for a variety of analytical methods and is available to provide testing for existing District customers to those who are interested. Customers will need to contact the District’s laboratory and set up sampling with the District’s Lab Manager, Brett, in which he will help Ute Water determine a customer’s needs and what the District is able to offer.
Excellence in water treatment
Ute Water's Treatment Plant was announced as the 2020 recipient of the Outstanding Water Treatment Plant Award for utilities serving over 50,000 customers by the Rocky Mountain Section of the American Water Works Association (RMSAWWA). The District’s Treatment Plant was given the award for demonstrating exceptional performance in the categories of water quality, operational records, maintenance, professionalism, safety, public relations, and general outstanding achievements. The RMSAWWA Awards Committee Chair commended the Ute Water Treatment Plant for their exceptional credentials and commitment to the water industry. More information about the Treatment Plant’s Outstanding Treatment Plant Award can be found here. Additionally, Ute Water’s Treatment Plant has been a recipient of the Partnership for Safe Water Director’s Award for 16-years. The award is based on a whole-staff commitment to continuous improvement for the protection of public health and a demonstrated ability to surpass regulatory requirements for turbidity throughout the treatment process.
Between 13 employees, Ute Water’s Treatment Plant operates under 150+ years of combined experience in the water treatment industry. Within the District’s Treatment Plant team, there are 9 A-licensed water operators and one certified electrician. Amongst them, there are eight Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Mechanical Engineering; one master’s degree in Public Administration; and three master’s degrees in progress. From an employee certified in lake management through the North American Lake Management Society to a certified SCADA programmer through Rockwell Software, the Treatment Plant’s team ensures that your water is safe through every step of the process from our source to your tap.
There are currently 92 individual regulated contaminants or chemical groups that the Treatment Plant team monitors regularly. Some are monitored continuously, such as turbidity, chlorine, and fluoride; whereas other contaminants are sampled for at defined intervals to inform the District’s process control or as determined for public water systems by regulation. The District has processes in place that dedicate resources to monitoring the water quality in the 260 square miles in which Ute Water serves customers. This includes testing multiple parameters within the system for bacteriological contaminants, chlorine residuals, pH, and temperature on a weekly basis. Over the course of a month, 90 different locations throughout the entire distribution system are sampled. Additionally, water professionals test for organic and inorganic impurities on a regular basis to ensure that the drinking water that enters the distribution system not only meets but exceeds the water quality standards set by the State of Colorado and the Safe Drinking Water Act.