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Denver Water’s newest treatment plant rising from the ground

When finished in 2024, the new plant will be able to treat up to 75 million gallons of water per day.

Denver Water’s new state-of-the-art Northwater Treatment Plant is starting to rise from the ground along Highway 93 north of Golden.

Construction on the 183-acre site started in September 2018. Capable of treating up to 75 million gallons of water per day, the Northwater plant is expected to be operational in 2024.

The progress at the site has moved quickly, with walls for six of the 16 planned buildings already in place. Bulldozers and trucks are moving earth to make way for the two, 10-million-gallon storage tanks, which will be mostly buried to avoid obstructing the view from Highway 93.

“It’s on budget and ahead of schedule,” Denver Water Project Manager Pete McCormick said of the project.

And that’s quite a feat, given the potential of COVID-19 pandemic interfering with such a big project.

There are up to 400 people working at the site on any given day, with dozens more working remotely — one of the many layers of protections put in place to keep people associated with the project safe from the virus.

At the construction site, workers are encouraged to “Work Smart, 6 feet apart” and hand sanitizer is available at every staircase.

Everyone is required to wear a mask, temperatures are taken at a security hut perched at the edge of the parking lot, workers stay in small groups to minimize the possibility of the virus spreading and work gloves are washed at the start and end of the shift.

A worker helping to build Denver Water's new Northwater Treatment Plant along Highway 93 north of Golden climbs out of a huge pipe at the construction site. Masks, required at the construction site, are one of the many protective measures to prevent COVID-19 from affecting the project. Photo credit: Denver Water.


“Denver Water and our contractor partners are going above and beyond to make sure everyone is safe,” McCormick said.

The new treatment plant will cost $520 million, a figure that includes upgrades to the old Moffat Water Treatment Plant about 8.5 miles away in Lakewood, which was finished in the 1930s.

The improvements will allow Moffat to treat up to 75 million gallons of water per day for the next 20 years.

The new Northwater plant was designed to be expanded to treat more water, if needed in the future. The upgrades to Moffat and the new state-of-the-art water treatment plant will ensure the reliable delivery of clean, safe drinking water to those that rely on us into the future.

Construction is underway at Denver Water's new Northwater Treatment Plant along Highway 93, seen at the top of the picture, north of Golden. Photo credit: Denver Water.