Water and Sewer Rates
Wastewater Sewer Backup
Hydrant Flushing for Water Line Maintenance
What is the Perry Park Water and Sanitation District?
It is a quasi-governmental entity called a special district that provides the water and sewer (wastewater) services for the Perry Park area.
What is a Special District?
A special district is a political subdivision of the State of Colorado, which is established to provide community services such as (in our case) water and wastewater services. An elected board of directors, each of which must permanently reside or be property owners and registered in Colorado to vote, governs a special district. They are all non-profit quasi-governmental entities that have the power to tax and provide any community services, except law enforcement.
Who are the people on the District’s Board and how are they chosen?
All of the District’s Board members have been elected by the residents that are permanently residing in or owning property within the boundaries of the District and are registered voters of Colorado. The Directors of the 5-member Board are elected to staggered 4-year terms and can serve up to 2 consecutive terms.
When does the Board meet?
The Board of Directors meets every 3rd Wednesday of each month at 2:00 pm in the District’s office, unless otherwise posted. There are also special meetings scheduled when the need arises, which are also posted. All meetings are open to the public and are posted at least 72 hours before the meeting. Notices are posted at the District office, this website and at two other public places within the District.
Who can serve on the Board of Directors?
Anyone that permanently resides in or owns property within the District’s boundaries and is a registered Colorado voter can run to be elected to serve on the District’s Board.
Who are the current Board members?
For a list of names and bios for the current board members, please refer to the Meet the Board
page of this website.
Can I attend any of the Board meetings?
Yes, the public is always welcome to attend and indeed encouraged to attend any of the monthly Board meetings and any scheduled special meetings or work sessions.
Where is the District’s office located?
We are located at 5676 West Red Rock Drive, Larkspur, CO 80118. We are open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday except holidays and scheduled closures.
What is the difference between this District and the Perry Park Metropolitan District?
This District provides the water and sewer (wastewater) services to the Perry Park area. The Perry Park Metropolitan District oversees the public facilities of the Perry Park Ranch area. Its main function today is protecting the Perry Park Ranch community from natural disasters, especially wildfires. Both are special districts, which are organized and regulated under Colorado’s statutes.
Where does our water come from?
Perry Park’s water supply is a combination of surface water (rivers and lakes) and non-renewable groundwater from the Denver Basin aquifers. The surface water is withdrawn from the alluvial aquifers along West Plum Creek by 4 existing wells located in East Perry Park. The District also has two non-tributary wells located in West Perry Park.
What are my responsibilities regarding the water and sewer pipelines?
Perry Park owns, operates, maintains, and repairs all the water and sewer (wastewater) main lines. The main pipelines are the large pipelines that are generally located in the streets or open space, which serve more than one residence or facility.
The District maintains the water service pipelines from the main line to the homeowner’s property line. The property owner is responsible (owns) the water service pipelines from their property line to and throughout their home. With the wastewater pipeline, the property owner is responsible for the wastewater pipeline from their home until it connects to the main sewer pipeline. That is why it’s so important to NEVER put any oils, fats, or grease down the drain or flush anything but human waste and toilet paper down the toilet.
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. Let it set (don’t flush the toilet) for 5 minutes. Then 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 inefficient water use, possibly outside irrigation is set too high. 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 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 water valve open.
- Then check the reading on your meter. Most of our meters are located outside in a meter pit. Older homes have meters located in the basement. Meters record the water usage into a home as indicated by a round dial that rotates as water is being used. You can call the District office to schedule someone to check for leaks.
- If there is no water being used (the meter isn’t moving) inside or outside the home. If, however, you’ve turned off all the faucets and no water appliances are using water and the meter continues to move or “creep”, it is often indicative of a leak or drip somewhere in your home’s water system. Many leaks only exist when the irrigation system is running.
If I have a confirmed leak in my home, what should I do?
You will first want to shut off the water source to stop the leakage. While repairing most in-home leaks, such as a toilet, is actually very easy, you might want to consult with a plumber or hardware store agent.
How can I water my lawn and still conserve water?
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. Water-wise plants such as native plants, perennials and bushes will reduce your water bill while still adding a lot of color to your yard.
Water Quality FAQs
What is a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR)?
The CCR is an annual water quality report that all community water systems are required to provide. It is based on the 1996 Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act and the right-to-know provisions of that Act. Each customer of the Perry Park Water and Sanitation District (PPWSD) has the opportunity to review it annually. The CCR helps them to make informed choices about the water they drink. The report lets the customers of PPWSD know what contaminants, if any, are in their drinking water, and how these contaminants may affect their health. Be assured that the water PPWSD provides the community continues to meet and/or exceed all water quality standards.
Why would a current CCR contain results from a previous calendar year?
The reason for the report containing results from the previous year is based on the sampling requirements from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), along with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Some of those sampling requirements occur each month and others occur at different times of the year based on water usage and when a contaminate may be more likely to be found in the water. So in order to provide a complete CCR report for the entire year, along with providing sufficient time for the public water systems to prepare the report, the CDPHE allows six months for the water provider to prepare and distribute the report to its customers.
When are the CCRs made available to the residents of Perry Park?
Every community water system is required by Federal law to provide its customers with a water quality report, also known as a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) by July 1st of each year. This report lists the regulated contaminants, if any, for that year’s sampling requirements. The results, along with the Safe Drinking Water Maximum allowable level, are always on the CCR report that you receive. All of the water quality tests during that year’s sample period will be reported on the CCR, which include results from the previous year. Thus, the current CCR will be dated from the previous year.
Does the annual water quality report indicate we have quality water?
Yes, you can be assured that PPWSD continues to meet and/or exceed all State and Federal water quality standards as set forth by the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act and any other subsequent revisions. See for yourself by reviewing the current CCRs.
Testing for Lead
Does Perry Park Water test for lead?
Yes, we test the water at 20 volunteer homes at the faucet every three years. Our lab tests continue to show we are well below EPA’s action levels in contaminants of lead and copper in the water.
Where does lead come from?
Lead is a common, naturally occurring metal found throughout the environment. It seldom, however, occurs naturally in water supplies like rivers and lakes, and is rarely present in water coming from a treatment plant or the water pipes themselves. That would be the case in Perry Park as the mainlines (pipelines) are not made of lead and the water treatment process does not introduce any lead.
How can lead get in the water?
Lead can enter drinking water primarily as a result of corrosion or wearing away of materials in a household’s plumbing that contains lead piping or soldering.
What if I have lead pipes inside my home?
If you’re concerned about lead pipelines in your home’s plumbing, you may want to have your water tested. If you choose to have your tap water tested, be sure to use a state certified laboratory. Also you might want to consider replacing any lead pipelines. Talk with your plumber or contact us for more information.
What should I do if my water is discolored?
If discoloration occurs, try running only the COLD water at one faucet for about 5 minutes and you should see that the water becomes clear. (Note that because running the hot water rather than cold water pulls from the hot water heater, the water may not run clear.) If the water doesn’t clear up after 5 minutes, wait for a few hours and try running the cold water only again. If the water is still discolored, please contact us, so we can correct the problem.
What causes water to be discolored?
This discoloration consists of naturally occurring harmless minerals (primarily iron and manganese). What happens is these minerals settle in the water pipelines, especially during winter months, when water usage is low. This increase in flow and pressure will stir up these minerals and it can take several hours for the water to clear. There are other times throughout the year that you may experience discolored water, such as in the spring when irrigation systems are being turned on at homes.
Is the water safe to drink if it is discolored?
Yes, even though there are minerals in it, the water remains safe to drink. It’s important to know that the water quality in Perry Park continues to meet and often be of better quality than the State Department of Public Health and Environment’s, (regulators of public drinking water), strict drinking water standards demand.
Can I still do laundry when the water is discolored?
It is recommended that you do NOT wash clothes when there is any discoloration in the water to avoid the possibility that it could stain any clothing – especially whites.
Water and Sewer Rates FAQs
What do water rates pay for?
The water rates pay for the cost of pumping and moving raw water to the water treatment plants. At the plants, the raw water is treated using energy, chemicals, filtration, and certified operators to produce safe drinking water. From the plants, it is protected using chlorine to make it safely through the distribution pipes to the faucets of the community.
What is the sewer rate for?
This is the fee for safe, reliable removal and treatment of the wastewater that flows down your sinks, bathtubs, and toilets and away from your homes. It is water that must be treated to a level it can be safely put back into the environment.
Why is there a monthly water base rate?
Even if you periodically use no water, many of the costs of providing water service are still incurred to keep the water system maintained and available for customers. These fixed costs are paid from the base rate. These expenses are for ongoing energy needs, testing, permitting, and system maintenance. They must be operated by certified professionals to meet standards established by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Why is there a monthly sewer (wastewater) base rate?
Even if you never used any water which became wastewater, there are many costs of proving wastewater services which are still incurred. Operational expenses for collecting and treating wastewater to a level that is safe to put back into the environment includes the costs for maintaining all of the infrastructure and operating the wastewater plants. These plants demand large amounts of electricity, chemicals, and testing. They must be operated by certified professionals to meet standards established by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Why do I have to pay for replacing system pipes or any other infrastructure?
Technically, the residents of Perry Park own all of the community’s water and sewer infrastructure. The District does not operate for a profit and is governed by a board comprised of Perry Park residents that pay the same rates. In order to provide you with quality water and have the wastewater safely removed, the infrastructure and facilities must be maintained, repaired and replaced so that the water is kept safe and the wastewater is removed both today and into the future.
Why are water rates at larger utilities less expensive?
There are many factors to consider which impact water service costs per customer. This includes economies-of-scale and costs of the raw water. For example, Denver Water has about two-million customers, giving them more people who share in the expense of infrastructure, treatment, the cost of water, storage and delivery. Here in Perry Park, we have less than 2,000 residences and we provide both water and wastewater services.
What does the capital improvement fee pay for?
These fees help pay for necessary infrastructure upgrades, replacement, and maintenance. For example we have completed, 1) an update to Sageport Water Treatment Plant, increasing water and treatment capacity, and additionally, replaced an aged limited generator to insure water availability in the event of a sustained power outage, 2) the Country Club Drive water line loop was added improving fire protection and water quality, 3) the Sageport Wastewater Treatment headworks were improved insuring Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment compliance, and 4) improvements to the Bannock lift station to replace aging infrastructure and reduce the possibility of an overflow.
Where can I see the annual budget and more about the District’s financials?
Each year, the District’s management develops a proposed budget for the following year. That proposed budget is posted to the District’s website. Public hearings are always conducted prior to the District’s Board of Director’s approval of the budget. To view the financials, click here
What is wastewater (sanitary sewer)?
Wastewater or sewage is the byproduct of many uses of water such as showering, dishwashing, laundry and flushing the toilet. After the water has been used, it enters the household’s wastewater pipeline and after it connects to the District’s main wastewater pipeline, the wastewater flows to one of Perry Park’s two, (Waucondah and Sageport), wastewater treatment plants.
Why does wastewater have to be treated?
Pollutants must be removed from the wastewater to help protect the environment and public health. When water is used in our community, the water becomes contaminated with human waste. If left untreated, these pollutants would negatively affect our health, water quality and environment.
Why are wastewater services always the same amount each bill?
It does not vary on bills because the District charges a flat bi-monthly fee that is the same for all residents.
Where does our wastewater go?
Wastewater is collected throughout the District and sent to one of two existing wastewater treatment plants through a series of pipelines. The Waucondah Wastewater Treatment Plant provides treatment service for wastewater collected in West Perry Park. The Sageport Wastewater Treatment Plant provides treatment service for wastewater collected in East Perry Park.
Where does the discharge from the wastewater treatment plants go?
The Waucondah Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) discharges to Bear Creek, a tributary to West Plum Creek. The Sageport WWTP discharges to East Plum Creek.
Who maintains the wastewater service pipelines?
With the wastewater pipeline, the property owner is responsible for the wastewater pipeline form their home until it connects to the main sewer pipeline. That is why it’s so important to NEVER put any oils, fats, or grease down the drain or flush anything but human waste and toilet paper down the toilet.
What if I have sewer odor in my house?
Run fresh water in all sinks to fill traps inside the house as they may have dried out. If this does not cure the problem, check the toilets and make sure they are firmly attached to the floor. The wax seal around the toilet may be compromised. If this does not resolve the issue, call a plumber immediately. Sewer gas may be harmful if breathed over a period of time.
What is a main sewer (wastewater) line?
A main line is that larger pipe usually in the street, which carries sewer to one of Perry Park’s Wastewater Treatment Plants for purification.
How to Avoid Sewer Backups (what not to put down the drain)
How can we prevent a sewer backup in our home?
You can avoid a backup by NOT putting any fats, oils, or grease down the drain and ensure that no objects other than toilet paper and human waste are being flushed down toilets. You might also want to contact a plumber to assess your pipeline and drains. Plumbers can install backflow prevention devices, clean out existing pipes, and video your sewage pipeline all the way to where it connects to the District’s main sewage pipeline.
Who is responsible for the sewer (wastewater) pipeline maintenance?
It’s important to know that the sewer (wastewater) pipeline from the District’s main pipeline to and throughout the home is owned and maintained by the property owner. It’s at the point of connection (usually under the street) where the home pipeline connects to the wastewater main pipeline that the District takes over the responsibility for maintaining the wastewater pipeline.
What items should NEVER go down the drain or into a toilet?
Fats, oils, grease, meat drippings, wet wipes, lard, paint, medicine, salad dressing, solvents of any kind, sanitary pads, diapers, fertilizer, sanitary/wet wipes, cigarette butts should NEVER go down the drain or into the toilet. In other words, if it’s anything at all that is likely to contribute to your pipes getting clogged, put it in the trash, not down the drain.
Who cleans up a backup sewage mess in my home?
If a backup occurs in your home, it is your responsibility to clean up any damage from the backup. That’s why it is so important to let everyone in your home know not to flush and put down the drain harmful items such as fats, oil, grease, wet wipes, feminine protection items, etc.
Are there any insurance options to protect us from backup damage?
There are some insurance agencies that offer coverage for sewer and drain backups. Talk with your insurance agent to learn more.
What should we do if we have a sewer backup in our home?
- Check the toilets, sinks and drain pipes to clear any blockages to ensure that the water is not due to an internal plumbing problem. It’s important to know that a wastewater backup is contaminated and may contain a number of bacteria and viruses, which can affect your health.
- Try to carefully close as many drain openings as possible.
- Don’t run any more water, use the toilets or send any water down the drain as it will likely end up in your basement or lower levels of your home.
- Check with your neighbors to see if they are experiencing any backups. If they are, it is likely that it is a problem in the main sewage line. Contact the District immediately to report the problem.
- Call a plumber to assist with clearing the issue, closing any drains remaining open, and to assess your home’s internal issues.
- Contact your homeowner’s insurance to determine what coverage might be available.
How does the District maintain its main sewer (wastewater) pipeline?
Because of the size of the District’s collection system, one fifth of the sewer collection system is cleaned and inspected by video surveillance every year. The District uses high pressure water cleaning, tree root growth removal, and follows other points of inspection to ensure that our lines are clear of debris to keep the system running smoothly.
How do I dispose of hazardous household chemicals?
First, NEVER put them down the drain, toilet, or into the trash. To safely dispose of hazardous materials, call the Household Chemical Roundup Hotline for Douglas County 303-846-6249 or visit: Tri-County Health Department (http://www.tchd.org/250/Home-Chemical-Waste)
for further information. Here you can find out when they hold events where you can drop off hazardous household items.
Hydrant Flushing FAQs
What is “flushing” the water system?
It is when we literally flush the water mains (pipelines) to remove any settled particles (minerals like iron) from the system. This is accomplished by opening fire hydrants in a specific area, sending massive currents of water speeding through the pipes, scouring any minerals and other sediment from the pipes and out the hydrant.
Why is flushing necessary?
Imagine driving down the road at about 1 or 2 miles an hour — the rate water normally moves through pipes in the winter when water demand is typically low. This slow movement allows sediment to build up over time, accumulating along the inside bottom of pipes. Our crews “pick up the speed of traffic” with flushing these water thoroughfares in order to help cleanse the pipes of sediment.
Isn’t flushing a waste of water?
The water used with flushing is important for maintaining water quality and the integrity of the piping system. Flushing eliminates sediments that might otherwise build up, restrict water flow and cause corrosion. The unused water is actually a small price to pay compared to the costs and waste involved with poor water flow and pipe replacement.
Do other public water providers flush their pipelines?
Like us, most public water providers utilize some type of flushing program — it’s simply one of the best ways to maintain water quality and delivery reliability.
Can local construction cause the system to flush?
Yes, if a construction worker opens a fire hydrant too fast, it can cause the same sort of flushing effect in the surrounding area. If this happens and you experience any water discoloration, please try running your cold water for 5 minutes and if the problem persists for over 24-hours, please contact us.
When does water system flushing occur?
Flushing is normally a springtime task, performed just as residents move outdoors, drawing more water to meet irrigation and recreational needs. Without flushing, these residents might find their in-home tap water discolored or water flow restricted. If, however, you are experience water discoloration, please let us know, as we will send out an operator to help solve the problem.
What if my water continues to be discolored after the flushing?
If your water does continues to run discolored, it points to the possibility of an unusually high volume of water demand and/or sediment in your area. Your call to us will help direct our efforts and allow us to correct any problems promptly. If your cold water runs clear, but the hot water remains discolored, you may have an entirely separate issue with your hot water heater.
What if my cold water runs clear, but my hot water is discolored?
If this occurs, we suggest draining and refilling the hot water tank. Make sure to do this cautiously, and follow all your manufacturer’s warnings to avoid getting burned, damaging your equipment or voiding your warranty.
Does the District monitor the water’s quality during the flushing process?
Yes, our operators conduct ongoing water sample collections to verify water quality during the flushing process.
What should I do when I see the District’s crew flushing hydrants in my area?
Please drive carefully and understand that our operators are maintaining your water system to help guarantee the delivery of quality water and to increase the life of our pipeline system. And, if you get the chance, thanking them is always nice, too.