Frequently Asked Questions About
Click Here to Read Frequently Asked Questions
About the Water Treatment Plant
Where do we get our water?
Roxborough's raw water provider is the City of Aurora. The December 20, 2010 signed intergovernmental agreement specifically secures a long term water source to our community for 90 years, with automatic 90-year renewals thereafter. It’s important to note, however, that the District takes its portion of Rocky Mountain fresh surface water out first through a nearby diversion pipe at Strontia Springs Reservoir before the rest of it travels to Aurora for their customers!
From where does the raw water originate and how does it get to Roxborough customers?
The City of Aurora has a diversion pipe at Strontia Springs Reservoir (6 miles up Waterton Canyon on the South Platte River). From that point, the water is piped to the Aurora Rampart Reservoir which is just southeast of the Fire Station entrance to Roxborough State Park. The District then, by pipeline, takes its share of the raw (untreated) water from the Aurora Rampart Reservoir. It is then piped to our water plant for treatment before being distributed to the Roxborough area for its various residential and commercial uses. Roxborough's water comes from all surface sources such as snow, rain, lakes, and rivers.
Does the District also use any well or groundwater?
No. We do not use well groundwater, a non-renewable and diminishing supply.
Why is Roxborough on surface water?
Fortunately, the water source in Roxborough is the highest quality there is. Here, our location is a distinct advantage over those communities who are on wells. We tap into our contracted portion nearby at Strontia Springs reservoir BEFORE the rest goes downstream to our raw water provider, the City of Aurora. Many neighboring districts are on groundwater (wells). This resource was more economical back in the “day,” however, a community must be geographically located in the middle of an aquifer to be able to benefit from a sufficient groundwater supply. Roxborough lies on the outer edges of the Denver water aquifer, meaning, there was never enough groundwater sufficient to support this community on wells here in southwest Douglas County. Surface water is sustainable and renewable; groundwater is not. Once groundwater is drawn out of the ground, it can take centuries to replenish.
So the good news is, while many other Douglas County water districts now find themselves very challenged to acquire and pay for surface water, then build the necessary infrastructure for it, our District is already well ahead of this inevitable curve. This translates to overall cost savings in the millions for RWSD customers!
Who is responsible for regulating water quality?
The District's certified and highly trained water specialists regularly monitor, test, and ensure our water quality and treatment processes meet the requirements of the Colorado State Department of Health which is the actual regulatory agency.
What could cause my water consumption to be higher than usual?
First, check for a possible leak inside your home. The most common causes of leaks are dripping faucets or toilets. You can get toilet tank leak detector tablets or place a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color appears in the bowl, the toilet is leaking. If your toilet is not leaking, the next most likely reason may be an outside leak or lack of efficient water use, possibly outside irrigation. The best way to determine if your irrigation system is leaking is by looking at your lawn. If you notice wet spots or pooling of water around your spray heads, this is a good indication that your irrigation system has a leak. If you have a layout of your irrigation system, start tracking the lines to determine the exact location.
If I suspect a leak, how do I confirm it?
If you suspect a leak, the easiest way to confirm is to check the reading on your meter by taking the following steps:
- Make sure all faucets and water-using appliances, inside and out, are turned off. Leave the master valve open.
- Check the reading on your meter. Your water meter is located in the basement or in some of the older homes it may be located outside in a meter pit. There is a small dial, which moves clockwise.
- If there is no water being used inside or outside the home and the meter continues to move or “creep” it is often indicative of a leak or drip somewhere in your home’s water system.
What is the future of our water?
The District and the City of Aurora executed a permanent water supply agreement in March of 2010. The initial contract is for 90 years (with automatic 90-year renewals).
Is the permanent raw water supply cost of $26.5 million a one-time fee paid to the City of Aurora?
Yes. This is a one-time purchase fee that secures permanent raw water to Roxborough forever.
How can I water my lawn while still meeting the water conservation requirements?
An easy way to conserve is to water early in the morning to prevent excessive evaporation. You can also use a sprinkler that makes large drops to ensure that your yard gets the water it needs to flourish under the restrictions. Watering can also be reduced by selecting low water demanding plants. Xeriscape such as native plants, perennials and bushes can not only reduce your water bill, but add a lot of color to your yard.
What is the future drought response with respect to watering restrictions?
Since the City of Aurora is Roxborough’s raw water provider, our permanent water supply contract was negotiated based on the most economical rates for water-efficient customers based on a calculation of per acre feet annually. Therefore, whatever Aurora’s drought plans are for their customers, the District must follow the same rules; no more, no less. Colorado is a semi-arid dry state with low annual precipitation, so it’s essential to be very conservative on how much water is used for outdoor irrigation purposes.
How can the district read my water meter when nobody comes to my house?
Where your water meter is located, there is a radio-frequency device that can be read when we drive by. If, for any reason, the signal doesn’t work, we will get a “physical” read at which point, we will ask the homeowner to read the dial to us over the phone or we may need to make an appointment to get inside. If we cannot get a read at all (bad signal, dead battery, etc.), we will estimate the usage according to the average at that property as well as the District’s average for that billing period. If we estimate, we will put that property on a “repair list” and make an appointment to repair or replace the meter before the next billing.
Does RWSD provide water outside the District?
No, the District only provides water services to residents/businesses within the District’s boundaries. Wastewater-only (sewer) services are provided outside the District to the Ravenna Development and Lockheed Martin Space Systems.
Why is my water usage the same as last time? Did you estimate it?
Most households are pretty consistent in their use of indoor water usage for bathroom, laundry, kitchen, etc., which can make overall use very similar. We read to the nearest 1,000 gallons and round down accordingly. Example: if the last reading was 5,000 gallons and this time it's 5,700 - the read will be 5,000. Summer is the perfect time to keep a close watch on your monthly water totals.
If you get water from the city of Aurora, why do you bill us for it?
We purchase raw water from the City of Aurora, but we have to treat the water to make it consumable and distribute it to the community. Residents share the cost for these services. If you have any questions about your bill or need other information, like getting new sod permits, please call our office at 303-979-7286.
What is the Roxborough Water and Sanitation District?
The District is a quasi-governmental entity that operates as a special district. The District is established under title 32 of the Colorado State Statute as a political subdivision of the State of Colorado. It is quasi-governmental because it is a taxing entity and has all the powers of a government entity except law enforcement.
What services does the District provide and to whom?
RWSD provides water and sewer services to residents and property owners of Roxborough Village and Roxborough Park subdivisions, which are within the District boundaries.
Why are water bills in Denver considerably less expensive than in Roxborough?
There are many factors to understand that impact water costs per customer. Denver Water serves 1.3 million people or roughly 450,000 customers. This is a huge number of people who share the expense of infrastructure, treatment, the cost of water, storage and delivery. They have also been in existence since 1872, so the majority of their in-city infrastructure and senior water rights were developed, secured, and paid for many years ago.
Roxborough is a small and much newer community. Rates are primarily affected by economy of scale in terms of population (customers) to share water system costs and individual, actual consumption weighted in favor of those who use less than 20,000 gallons per month (which is deemed to be more than adequate for all interior household needs and maintaining a native-friendly landscape). Keep in mind, RWSD also provides sewer services which Denver Water does not.
- Denver’s water supply comes from a series of reservoirs high in the Rocky Mountains, some of which were built and paid for in the past century.
- Denver Water has the capability of producing up to 800 million gallons per day.
- Denver owes very little debt on its water system for its vast size.
Who are the people on the District's Board and how are they chosen?
The Board of Directors are your neighbors. All the members are residents and property owners of the District. They are elected by registered voters of the State of Colorado that own property or reside within the boundaries of the District. Directors are elected to staggered 4-year terms.
When does the Board of Directors meet?
The Board of Directors meets every 3rd Wednesday of each month at 8:00am in the Community Room at West Metro Station 15 unless otherwise posted. There are also special meetings scheduled when the need arises. All meetings are open to the public and are posted at least 72 hours before the meeting. Notices are posted at the District office, the Loaf ‘N Jug and at two other public places within the District.
Where are we located?
We are located in West Metro Fire Station #15 located at 6222 N. Roxborough Park Road at the intersection of Rampart Range Road and Roxborough Park Road. We are open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. We also have a payment drop just to the right of the main entrance for your convenience.
What is the difference between the RWSD and the Roxborough Park Foundation?
The Roxborough Water and Sanitation District provides water and sewer services to the Park and Village areas and is a government entity organized and regulated by state statutes. The Roxborough Park Foundation is a non-government entity, non-profit private organization, property owners association that provides parks and recreation, trash removal, snow removal, roads and covenant control to the property owners in the Park.
What is the difference between the RWSD and the Roxborough Village Metropolitan District?
The Roxborough Water and Sanitation District provides water and wastewater services to the Park and Village. The Roxborough Village Metropolitan District provides streets, lighting, parks and recreation, mosquito control and drainage services to the Village area. Both are governmental entities organized and regulated by state statutes.
What number do I call if I have a water or sewer emergency?
If it truly is an emergency – call 911. If a water or sewer emergency occurs such as an outside line break, call the District office at 303-979-7286. If the emergency occurs after hours, again call 303-281-9338 for direction to the District’s 24-Hour Emergency Answering Service. Please keep in mind that if the problem is within your home, you should call a plumber.
What is the District's responsibility regarding water and sewer lines?
The District owns, operates, maintains and repairs all water and sewer main lines. Main lines are large pipelines generally located in streets or open spaces, which serve more than one residence or facility. The homeowner is responsible for the service line beginning at their property line to and throughout their home.
Who is responsible for the District's sewer treatment?
The sewer water from RWSD customers is outsourced to the Littleton/Englewood Wastewater Treatment Plant. The sewer water collection systems are adequate to provide water and sewer services to a built-out Roxborough community.
How much do RWSD customers pay for wastewater (sewer) services?
The individual monthly charge for hauling away and treating sewer discharge is $39/month. The District provides water AND sewer services to residents, both of which are reflected in the monthly billing statement. So when looking at the total due, keep in mind, Denver Water, for example, is a water provider only; their bills do not include sewer services. Denver Water customers must receive sewer services from a sanitation provider and pay those costs separately from their water bill.