Can you drink Denver tap water?

Can you drink Denver tap water?

Denver’s ideal location, in the Rocky Mountains, means it can get its water fresh from the snowmelt. Denver tap water comes from local snowfall and doesn’t need to travel much before reaching homes and offices in Denver. The city is first in line in collecting this clean, snow water, before it travels along the Colorado River and ends up as far as South California. Despite the water being perfectly safe, some residents have complained how the water tastes. This is in part due to the Chloramine which is added for transportation. Denver Water, the water utility responsible for the collection, storage, quality control and distribution of drinking water to 1.4 million people, says their water is perfectly safe, but they do recommend using a filter if you are concerned about Lead and Chlorine byproducts. Install a filter such as TAPP to your faucet, and never worry about bad tasting water again.

Where does Denver tap water come from?

Denver tap water comes from mountain snowmelt, and Denver is the first major user in line to use that water. Raw water from the mountain ends up in one of 15 reservoirs. It is treated with coagulants, which force small particles to stick to each other, forming larger particles heavy enough to settle to the bottom of a basin. The water is then filtered through granulated materials turning it into beautiful crystal clear water. The pristine clear water which emerges now needs to be treated for distribution. Chlorine or Chloramine are added to protect against bacteria, viruses and other pathogens. To reduce the risk of lead leaching, pH is maintained by adding alkaline substances - reducing corrosion in the distribution system. Despite fluoride being naturally present in Denver Water, small amounts are added to maintain constant levels throughout the network.

What is in Denver tap water and who regulates it?

Tap water is regulated by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), while bottled water which is a packaged good, is regulated by the FDA. Although both the EPA and FDA have similar quality standards, FDA standards are looser in terms of how often bottled water needs to be tested and they do not require companies to share their test results with consumers. Denver Water carries out 68,000 tests using 35,000 samples every year! So if you want to know exactly what it is you are drinking - it’s a no-brainer - you should switch to tap water right away. Not only are EPA guidelines strict, EWG (Environmental Working Group) - a nonprofit organization, have set their own, tougher guidelines which they call: health guidelines. Check out the EWG website for the detailed list of contaminants in your area, all you need is your zipcode. According to the EWG report, 5 cancerogenous contaminants above health guidelines were found in “Denver Water” water. All of which are below the legal limit set by the EPA, and below the state average. These can be grouped as TTHMs, HAAs and last is Chromium. Reducing these will reduce possible long-term health risks. Hormones coming from human and animal wastewater discharged into drinking water sources have also been found in traces. Moreover, according to water research by OrbMedia microplastics were found in 94% of all tap water in the United States. In summary, tap water in Denver is still legally safe to drink but to be on the safe side, an active carbon filter such as TAPP could be used. TAPP removes TTHMs, HAAs, Hormones, Microplastics and reduces Chromium 6 by 40-70%. To remove Chromium 6 almost entirely then activated carbon should be combined with a reverse osmosis or Ion Exchange filter. TAPP will also remove any bad taste or odor you might find in your water, as well as lead and other heavy metals which can deposit via poorly maintained pipes in your building and microplastics.

Drinking water in public places and restaurants

Unfortunately, there is no law requiring restaurants to serve their customers tap water for free, most do it as a courtesy. As a matter of fact, as Colorado is a drought-stricken state and is under water restrictions, in some cases it might be illegal for them to serve you water unless you specifically ask for it. With respect to water fountains or bubblers, there are over 100 of them around the city. Before you go out and about in Denver, fill up and carry a reusable water bottle. Use the MyTAPP app (iOS and Android) to find refill stations around you.

Bottled water

Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, Fiji, Mountain Valley, Pure Life, and Smartwater are some of the most popular bottled waters. But don’t be fooled, the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) concluded that an estimated 25 percent or more of bottled water is just filtered tap water, at a premium price. Not only is bottled water a waste of money, it also contributes to the general pollution of our planet. More bad news is that Colorado not only does not have a deposit on bottles & cans, the state is below the national average in terms of recycling rates. Only 19% of trash does not end up in landfills! If you don’t want to risk your plastic bottle ending up in a landfill or in the ocean, carry a reusable water bottle with you. If you must buy a water bottle, make sure that you place the cap back on, and that you dispose of it in a “Recycle” can. Using a filter like TAPP 2, you will never need to use any plastic linked with your water consumption. When it’s time to change the filter, dispose of its biodegradable refills in one of the organic waste bins across the city.


  • Water in Denver comes from the nearby Rocky Mountains
  • Bottled water is one of the biggest food and health scams in recent history. It’s a waste of money and our nature.
  • if you want to know exactly what minerals and contaminants are in your water, drink from the tap at home.
  • If you don’t like the taste of tap water or are worried about reducing PFCs, TTHMs, Chromium, or lead, get a high-quality water filter such as TAPP 2 with biodegradable filter cartridges.
  • Ask for tap water in restaurants and never feel ashamed about it.
  • Get a refillable bottle and keep it filled up with fresh tap water.
  • Refuse bottled water whenever possible, or look dispose of it in one of the “recycle” bins
Do you drink tap water in Denver? We want your feedback and opinion. Agree or disagree? Tell us! Sources:
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