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The Challenge

Golden and other Colorado towns face unique challenges in protecting our water quality, largely due to the state's unique geographic and climatic conditions, as well as increasing urbanization and industrial activities.

These challenges include frequent droughts, higher intensity storms, rapid population growth and urbanization along the Front Range, pollutants leaching from abandoned mines, wildfires, and floods…just to name a few.

The City of Golden prioritizes a clean, reliable water system for our community. We provide a comprehensive approach to water quality management through different programs that work in tandem to ensure that our water is safe, clean, and sustainable.

Check out the 2023 Water Quality Report


Stormwater Management

  • Objective:  Oversees programs to manage runoff from rain and snowmelt runoff to prevent flooding and pollution and protect people, property and water quality.
  • How It Works:  Utilizes infrastructure like inlets and pipes, detention ponds, and rain gardens to manage runoff. Provides education regarding pollution prevention. Regulates construction and development to mitigate adverse impacts from additional runoff and pollution.
  • Contribution to Water Quality:  Maintains the integrity of the floodplain and reduces pollutants carried by stormwater runoff into rivers and lakes, thereby protecting aquatic and riparian ecosystems and drinking water sources.

Industrial Pretreatment

  • Objective:  Controls the pollutants released by industries into the sewer system.
  • How It Works:  Requires industries to treat wastewater to meet certain standards before discharging it into the sewer system. Regular inspections and monitoring ensure compliance.
  • Contribution to Water Quality:  Prevents harmful industrial pollutants from damaging the sewer system or reaching the water treatment plant, ensuring that wastewater treatment is effective and water bodies are not contaminated by industrial waste.

Cross Connection Control

  • Objective:  Also called “Backflow Prevention” this program protects the quality and safety of the public water supply by helping to ensure contaminants and pollutants don’t enter our potable (drinkable) water system. 
  • How It Works:  Mandates the installation of testable backflow prevention devices where there is a risk of hazards or pollutants contaminating the public drinking water supply. Includes mandatory regular testing, maintenance, and reporting of these devices.
  • Contribution to Water Quality:  Protects drinking water quality and safety by preventing possible contamination through cross connections.

Floodplain Management

  • Objective:  Reduces risks and impacts associated with flooding, particularly in areas near water bodies.
  • How It Works:  Involves zoning, land-use planning, and enforcing building codes in flood-prone areas. Aims to preserve natural floodplains which act as natural buffers and filters for runoff.
  • Contribution to Water Quality:  By maintaining the integrity of floodplains, this program helps preventing erosion, thereby protecting people, property and the environment.

Source water and watershed

  • Objective: Implement a wide variety of actions and activities aimed at safeguarding, maintaining, or improving the quality and/or quantity of Golden’s sources of drinking water and their contributing areas.
  • How It Works: Golden strives to protect sources of drinking water by supporting voluntary partnerships such as the Upper Clear Creek Watershed Association and the Clear Creek Watershed & Forest Health Partnership. These collaborative approaches can prevent contamination of sources of drinking water through reviewing actions that may impact water quality in the Clear Creek watershed and implementing projects to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires and post-fire impacts.
  • Contribution to Water Quality: Protects Golden’s source of drinking water by collaborating with local governments, industry, businesses, and citizens on pollution prevention and source water protection.

Community Engagement

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