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We'll be there, even on Labor Day

A behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to keep the water flowing 24/7/365.

Since 1882, the U.S. has celebrated Labor Day, a national tribute to the American worker's contributions to the social and economic strength of our country.

And while many celebrate the holiday with a relaxing day away from their jobs, some Denver Water employees will still be hard at work.

Ensuring 1.5 million people receive high-quality drinking water is a 24/7 operation. Here’s a glimpse at what some of our employees will be doing today — and every day — to make sure our customers have the water they need.

From accountants to welders, Denver Water has about 1,000 employees working in more than 200 positions. It truly takes a village to bring water to our customers every day.

Pete Garduno answers a call to Denver Water’s central dispatch. A customer reports water bubbling up in the middle of a busy intersection. Pipes can break at all hours of the day and we have to be ready to respond. The central dispatch team works like a police or fire department dispatch center to coordinate Denver Water's response so we can minimize the impact on our customers. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

Even in the dark, members of the Emergency Services team are Denver Water’s first responders. They handle anything from shutting off water so crews can repair pipe breaks, to supporting Denver firefighters during multi-alarm blazes, to assisting customers with water quality complaints. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

Water mains burst when they want to, and usually at inopportune times, like when it’s dark and chilly. After Denver Water's Emergency Services responds to a call, a Water Distribution crew — including pipeline mechanic Daniel Ruvalcaba — fix the problem so customers can have water service restored as soon as possible. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

Long after many of us have gone to bed, staff at our three drinking water treatment plants are hard at work. They gear up overnight, when water use is low, to ensure the plants can meet customers’ needs during the day, when demand is higher.

Our drinking water plants are staffed around-the-clock by operators and maintenance personnel, like senior water treatment technician Aaron Benko, who monitor the treatment processes and run lab tests to ensure the water we deliver (sometimes at the rate of 350,000 gallons a minute) meets all the federal and state regulations, and even tighter Denver Water standards. Note: Benko is now in Environmental Compliance for Denver Water. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

Coffee percolates and the dark room glows from monitors that cover entire walls in Systems Operations (also known as Load Control). Distribution operators like Phil Malone work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, scanning various computer screens to make sure our 30 treated water reservoirs, more than 3,000 miles of pipe, 140 pressure zones and 23 pump stations are ready for the morning load as our customers wake and prepare for their day.

With a water system as large and complex as ours, pumps, facilities, even entire pipelines, occasionally go down for service, maintenance or repair. Operators must constantly respond to alarms that signal potential real-time problems with everything from equipment and instrumentation to water quality and pressure. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

We provide customers an average of 64 billion gallons of high-quality drinking water and 2 billion gallons of treated recycled water every year. No small task, but it’s all in a day’s work at Denver Water.