Protecting a valuable and limited resource
At Fort Collins-Loveland Water District, our utmost commitment has always been to provide customers with high-quality water, and to provide a secure and reliable supply of water to deliver to our customers. Water is a precious and limited resource here in Colorado. As part of our District’s long-term planning, conservation plays a pivotal role in safeguarding our existing supplies and reducing the volume of our water supply acquisitions for the future. We actively encourage customers to familiarize themselves with effective water conservation practices, enabling them to not only conserve water for the future but also to reduce their water bills month-to-month. For helpful tips on water conservation and money-saving tips, please see below. It’s important to note that while conservation is highly encouraged, it remains voluntary and not mandatory. Water use is an individual customer choice, and we respect that. Together, we can ensure a sustainable water future for our community.
To learn more, please read our 2023 Water Efficiency Plan, available here.
Additionally, the District is constantly looking for ways to improve its use of resources overall. This includes everything from maintaining 95% efficiency in the water system by actively repairing leaks to installing a hydro turbine at Soldier Canyon Filter Plant, enabling the plant to now run nearly carbon neutral.
If you do wish to help with conservation efforts, we encourage you to use the Water Calculator to help you determine gaps and find areas where you can reduce your water usage. From there, the District offers programs and resources to help you use your water more efficiently.
The District has a leak detection program to help you identify leaks to eliminate wasted water and to help keep your monthly bill low and predictable. Each customer meter is programmed to alert us for high or low usage, compared to normal usage, to identify leaks past the customer tap or a malfunction of the meter itself. All known leaks in the distribution lines are repaired immediately. Leaks found on customer service lines are reported to the customer. All new and replacement water lines are pressure tested after installation to ensure that they meet established guidelines for minimal water loss.
Here are a few tips to identify possible leaks:
- Monitor your home for water leaks in your faucets and toilets.
- Watch your bill for unexpected jumps which can indicate water inefficiency.
- Replace old, inefficient toilets with a new WaterSense toilet.
- Test your toilets quarterly with food dye for leaks.
- Simply grab a bottle of food coloring and put a few drops in the tank of every toilet in the house. If a toilet tank is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within five minutes.
- Watch for squishy spots in your yard – this could mean a pipe is leaking.
- Check your walls for water drips, bubbling paint or wallpaper or discoloration, which could indicate a leak.
- A musty smell? Over time, a persistent leak provides the perfect humid environment for mold to grow so a musty smell is often a red flag.
Together, we can ensure a sustainable water future for our community.
Sprinkler System Checkup
The District participates in the City of Fort Collins Sprinkler System Checkup program, offered to all District customers from June through August. The free-to-you, District-funded sprinkler assessments help residents and homeowner associations identify problems, such as leaks, create a custom watering schedule and provide recommended system upgrades. The City of Fort Collins provides free (District-funded) audits to the first 150 FCLWD customers, available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit fcgov.com for additional information or learn more here.
Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller
FCLWD customers are eligible to receive a discount on their Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller to help make outdoor water usage more efficient. The smart controller provides self-adjusting schedules that use customized yard details and water technology to help you determine how much to water and when. It also uses predictive technology to skip watering before it starts raining. District customers can save up to $60 on the controller. Learn more here.
To further its long-term conservation planning, the District uses a cost-of-service model to encourage efficient water use by its residential, commercial and irrigation customers. Customers who place a higher than usual demand on the water system are now charged more, incenting everyone to consume less.
The financial rate model stems from a rate study, completed in 2018, that revealed that some customer classes are placing a higher demand on the water system now than in the past, particularly homeowners and irrigation users. A customer class is a rate group that is based on the cost of service for that particular group. In 2018, our Rate Study recommended 4% annual increases. We are in the process of completing our updated 2023 Rate Study and reviewing recommendations for anticipated rate increases in the next several years.
Additional Resources & Education
If you want additional support with water conservation, there are a variety of resources and educational opportunities within our community.
- Colorado WaterWise offers classes and events during the year. Also, check out their comprehensive list of water conservation efforts from landscaping to indoor conservation.
- Town of Windsor Conservation Kits: The Town of Windsor offers free home water conservation kits to Windsor residents. The kits are available for pick up at Town Hall during normal business hours. Visit windsorgov.com for additional information.
- Fort Collins Utility Xeriscape: Looking to change your landscaping? Xeriscape is the creation of a healthy, beautiful landscape that also conserves water. Fort Collins Utilities offers inspiration and resources to help you plan your Xeriscape project. Visit fcgov.org for additional information.
- Northern Colorado Water Conservation Campus and Garden: Northern Water has an expansive conservation garden on its campus designed for public education on water-efficient landscaping techniques. Featured in the garden are more than 700 Colorado-friendly plants, grasses and shrubs as well as learn more several demonstration areas for native and alternative grasses, irrigation technologies, soil preparation and a xeriscape plaza. The garden is open to the public daily from sunrise to sunset. Visit northernwater.org/ConservationGardens for additional information.
- Resource Central: Resource Central offers free, online waterwise yard seminars taught by local landscape and horticultural professionals. The seminars are offered in the spring/summer on a variety of topics including turf removal, design and plant selection, Colorado landscaping, fall planting and more. Visit resourcecentral.org/seminars to see upcoming seminars and watch previous recorded seminars. Resource Central also hosts regular conservation events that are open to the public, including seminars, lectures, workshops, conservation tours and more. Visit resourcecentral.org/events to see their events calendar for upcoming opportunities.