Hardness Q&A

Answers to Hardness Questions from Customers

Is the water I’m getting safe?

The water served by the District is safe as it meets all current EPA drinking water standards. Hard water is not known to pose any health effects. Because of this, water hardness is not a limit set by the EPA. Although the presence of hardness causing minerals does not affect health, at high levels hardness can cause problems such as scaling on fixtures, film on glassware, etc.

The District tests for over 241 compounds on a regular basis totaling over 1,240 tests every month. State-certified operators and chemists collect and analyze samples throughout our water system – from production wells to customer taps. More information on the safety of the District’s water can be found in the Water Quality Report.   
Why does the District have hard water?

The District has hard water because of the source of its water supply. Most of the District’s water comes from shallow underground alluvial aquifers. As the District’s water travels through these “underground rivers” it comes into contact with natural deposits of calcium and magnesium. Water dissolves these minerals causing calcium and magnesium ions to be present. This District’s groundwater source is different than the softer surface water supplies of Denver and some other surrounding communities. 

Who is the South Adams County Water and Sanitation District? 

The South Adams County Water and Sanitation District is a special district (i.e. an independent Colorado local government entity) that was formed to provide water and wastewater services to what is now Commerce City and surrounding areas. It was formed in 1951 and is governed by a customer-elected five-member Board of Directors.

How is the District funded? 

The District is a nonprofit governmental entity that gets a majority of the money needed to fund operations from rates and fees. Customer’s bills are based on the cost to treat and deliver water and their amount of usage. These costs include things such as water pumping, treatment, laboratory testing, and pipelines. The District collects a little over three mils of property tax which pays for approximately 7% of the District’s operating budget and accounts for around 2.5% of your total property tax. The District is currently in good financial health and undergoes a third-party audit every year.  
Is the District going to find and implement a solution for hardness?

The Board of Directors voted on December 13, 2017 to implement a solution to improve the 
quality of our water by reducing the hardness. The decision was to move forward with a centralized pellet softening treatment system, which will reduce the calcium hardness and scale forming characteristics of the District’s water. 
The softening project is on schedule with the design phase coming to completion at the end of January 2019. The District went through a selection process and selected Moltz Construction as the Construction Manager At Risk for the softening project. Once the design is complete, Moltz will submit a cost estimate for the construction project. If the District’s Board approves the cost estimate from Moltz, it is anticipated that construction will start around the first week of March, 2019. The Ennis Water Softening Facility became operational in March 2021, the treatment process brings the District water hardness level to 7 grains per gallon. 
Can the District provide information about home softening systems

Purchasing an in-home water softener can reduce the hardness of your water. As a governmental entity, the District can’t recommend a specific vendor or brand of equipment. The District’s website does provide some general topics to consider related to purchasing an in-home softening system. The page also has links and videos that customers interested in installing home softening systems may find helpful.