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Diving into the past

Technology may have changed, but diving at Marston water storage facility is not a thing of the past.
A.H. Sherwood stands in front of Marston water storage facility before a dive in 1915 (left). Two divers pose in the waters at Marston during the Denver Fire Department Water Rescue Team training event on June 24, 2018. Photo credits: Denver Water.

On Aug. 6, 1918, Denver residents voted to create a five-member Board of Water Commissioners and buy the Denver Union Water Company’s system for nearly $14 million, creating Denver Water.

Elements of the then-fledgling city's water system that were in place long ago can been seen today, although they've been updated quite a bit. Here are side-by-side photos of a training dive in 2018 and another photo taken more than 100 years ago.

Left: Diving at the Marston water storage facility in southwest Denver is not something new. A picture from May 26, 1915, shows diver A.H. Sherwood preparing to remove a cover over an outlet from the Marston North Tower.

Right: The Denver Fire Department Water Rescue Team held a dive and rescue training on June 24, 2018, at Denver Water’s Marston water storage facility. The team planned to continue its training throughout the summer.

“The fire department has done its rescue dive training at our facility for a number of years,” said Nicole Babyak, supervisor at Marston Treatment Plant. “We are happy to offer them the option of using our water storage facility to keep their skills up-to-date and help save lives in the future!”

The training at Marston helps keep rescue skills current since it provides similar conditions firefighters may encounter in real-life situations like cold temperatures and low visibility.

Learn more about Denver Water's history by scrolling through a timeline of major projects and turning points.