Ward 3 Thornton City Council


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Thornton, what's in your water?

In preparation for the coming of winter, like many others, I began the process of winterizing my home. This is a routine and fairly mundane process for anyone that has lived in a climate such as ours. However, this year was a little different. To my surprise and dismay, when I attempted to remove a hose from the spigot, I could not get it to turn. Suspecting calcium deposits took a hold of my hose, I went as far as applying CLR but try as I might, it would not budge. It was not until I used a pipe wrench that I was able to break the grasp of the mineral deposits that awaited me.

I know I am not alone in this matter. A quick search on any Thornton community social media platform you will find dozens of complaints, or posts wanting recommendations on the best water softeners. Any long term resident of Thornton will tell you that water quality has been a topic of discussion for quite some time and this is not a recent problem.

The USGS classifies soft water as anything under 60 milligrams per liter of calcium carbonate. Hard water is identified in the range of 121 to 180 mg/L. So let’s take a look at a quick comparison between Thornton and Denver water quality. According to Thornton’s most recent water quality report , the hardness, measured by the mineral content in water, which can cause building up on dishes, fixtures and and in pipes, varied between 120 mg/l and 252 mg/l in 2017. In comparison, in Denver, the southern collection system, which is considered moderately hard with a range of 75 to 120 mg/L, and the softer northern collection system where calcium carbonate levels are typically between 40 and 50 mg/L.

Even at the lowest variable rating for Thornton, we have what the USGS considers hard to very hard water. I believe Thornton, as the 6th largest city in Colorado and with a 400+ million dollar budget can do much better than this. Water quality, supply and delivery is paramount for our continued growth and prosperity. Without water, there is no Thornton.

David Acuntohardwater