Keenly aware of our responsibility to deliver safe, clean water day in and day out, we invest in plans, systems, programs, and infrastructure to help ensure our community always enjoys cool, clear water—without fail.

A large gear and small gear graphic depicting water at work

With your help, we are able to provide high-quality water services for our community. Learn more about the initiatives you help support.

Inside Your Water System Impact Report

Inside Your Water System – Impact Report for 2022

Your water system has many moving parts and our fundamental goal is to provide our thriving community with a safe and reliable water supply. This report provides our customers with examples of our accomplishments in 2022. En Español

Water Treatment and Quality
Large green pipes in water treatment facility

Drinking Water Treatment Plant 

Our new state-of-the-industry water treatment plant uses the latest treatment processes. It came online in September 2020. Read all about it in our blog. Curious about how clean, safe, drinking water is made? See the process.

Person testing water supplies in a lab


Our water quality laboratory provides constant water sampling, monitoring, and testing to closely monitor our water before, during and after the treatment process to make sure it’s always safe to drink and meets stringent state and federal water quality standards.

Two kids drinking water

Taste & Smell

There are many factors that cause differences in how water tastes and smells. For Thornton, these variations occur because of natural elements in our source water. They are described in our blog.

Water flowing in a creek with rocks


A measure of the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium that occurs naturally in all water, hardness doesn’t mean the water is bad. Our blog tackles the issue of water hardness.

Person filling glass with water from tap


Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. Thornton does not install lead service lines and elevated lead levels have not been detected in the city. We have information in our latest Water Quality Report.

Scientist looking at a test slide under a microscope


Across the nation, water utilities are addressing the impact of PFAS on water supplies. Our Thornton water team is proactively taking steps to inform residents; assess levels, scope, and source of contamination; and examine next steps to meet EPA levels. People do not need to stop drinking their water because of the recent PFAS HAL update. The city’s FAQs page has more information.

Water Supply
Large reservoir in front of snow covered foothills

Sources & Storage

Starting as snow high in the Rocky Mountains, Thornton sources its water from Clear Creek and the South Platte River. Based on our water rights to these sources, we divert it, store it in 19 reservoirs, and treat it to water quality standards to supply safe drinking water to our customers.

Construction worker next to large water pipe

Thornton Water Project

The Thornton Water Project is a new pipeline that will provide the water required to meet the future needs of our growing community. The new pipeline is slated for completion in 2027 at the earliest.

Open field with barn in background

Sustainability & Agricultural Stewardship

Did you know our state regulates different types and uses for our water rights, including securing water storage for our city? In the mid-1980s, Thornton purchased farmland in Larimer and Weld counties to shift the water rights from agricultural use to municipal use in Thornton. Those rights will provide Thornton’s supply of water well into the future. For information on Thornton’s stewardship on our Northern properties, visit the Northern Properties Stewardship webpage.

Water Distribution Improvements & Maintenance
Closeup of water irrigation cover

Water Meter Upgrades

Thornton has been upgrading its household water meters and registers, replacing the current batch with more precise versions that will be compatible with new water reading technology, called Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).

Closeup of water meter

Advanced Metering Infrastructure

The city is replacing 25,000 residential water meters to be compatible with Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) technology. This will enable us to track hourly water usage data instead of monthly. Additional AMI technology will be installed over the next two years to be able to detect water leaks and other issues much sooner. The quicker the city and customers are alerted to leaks, or other high-water issues, the quicker we can address them and prevent water from being wasted. Learn how AMI can detect leaks early.

Exposed pipeline being installed in trench

Pipeline Rehabilitation

Thornton continuously works on various Capital Improvement Projects including maintaining 625 miles of underground water lines, some 60+ years old. The pipeline rehabilitation program utilizes new technologies to repair deteriorated pipes throughout Thornton’s water distribution system. Locations are identified based on pipe breaks and an annual review of pipe age data. You can see information about different projects throughout the city on the Capital Improvement Projects page under the “Water” tab.

Construction of new outdoor treatment facility

Capital Improvement Program

The Capital Improvement Program (CIP) provides for cost-effective design and construction of capital projects that enhance the quality of life for citizens or result in the reduction of ongoing maintenance costs. We have a five-year CIP plan, which is updated annually. Projects include improvements to transportation, city facilities, trails, and the water, storm sewer, and sanitary sewer systems.

Water Efficiency
Rock wall in open space field

Naturally Thornton & Parks

Thornton manages over 140 miles of trails and 2500+ acres of parks and open space for residents to enjoy. Our H2Overhaul for sustainable landscapes is a tiered approach for the future of our open spaces. With low to no maintenance, we allow existing high-water plants and grasses to expire, and we will replace them with native, low-water alternatives. Learn more at Naturally Thornton.

Person working on computer tablet

WaterSmart Program

Stay informed about your water account with WaterSmart. Just create a WaterSmart profile and set alerts, get text reminders, track and compare your consumption, find leaks, get personalized tips on ways to save, and lots more.  Sign up to establish your WaterSmart profile.

Sprinkler graphic on top of backyard landscaping

Water Use Rules

In 2021, Thornton incorporated permanent Water Use Rules into the City Code. But you can water lean and still stay green. Our new Watering Guide contains some of the new rules and provides a guide for watering up to three days per week. For complete Water Use Rules visit our Saving Outdoors page and get your Watering Guide.

Front of brick house with landscaping

Rebates* & Free Services

To encourage everyone in the community to help us save Thornton’s water supply , we offer many rebate programs, discounts, and free services to reward residential and business customers.

* Rebates may be considered taxable income by the IRS. Consult a tax professional for more information.

Planning for a Water Smart Future
Water running into reservoir

Drought Plan

Planning for drought means managing supply, demand, and impact, and ensuring the delivery of adequate supply to all water customers. The plan also includes additional steps for reducing water demand and acquiring additional water supplies. Read the plan. For current drought phases and restrictions, please visit our Drought page.

Small pond in the middle of neighborhood

Improving Water Efficiency in New Developments

Thornton’s city planners understand the importance of water for our community. New guidelines will ensure we continue to develop our communities responsibly.

Operator working at multiple computer screens

Water Efficiency Plan

Thornton’s Water Efficiency Plan establishes long-term water efficiency goals that encourage efficient use of available water resources. Our objective is to reduce the amount of additional water needed to serve existing and future customers, while maintaining a high-quality urban environment. We implement, monitor, measure and evaluate water-efficiency activities and regularly revise the Water Efficiency Plan to meet these targets.

Utility Billing

Water Rate Study

Thornton conducts routine assessments to calculate projected water rates at a level that will allow the city to maintain infrastructure, services and adequate water supply. To review the latest Water Rate Ordinance or visit the Utility Billing page.

Water Rates

Learn how Thornton calculates water rates based on single-family lots located inside the city limits, and gain insight on how to better understand your monthly bill by checking out Your Utility Bill DeMistified for inside city customers (En Español) or Your Utility Bill DeMistified for outside city customers (En Español).

Water Bill Assistance

The Thornton Water Assistance Program helps low-income individuals and families struggling to pay their water bill. Thornton Water customers and residents living in apartment complexes, manufactured home parks, condominiums, and townhomes that receive water through the City of Thornton can apply for the program once per calendar year.

Paperless Bill Insert Archives

If you receive a paperless water bill, you may be missing out on some great information the city includes with the paper bill.

Thornton is investing in water efficiency; both supply and demand. Your help is an important part.

We have rebates and free services available for our water customers so you can continue to be water-conscious and help our community save water. Combine this with the city’s efforts and we have a lot to be proud of.