New Denver Water rates start April 1

DENVER — The Denver Board of Water Commissioners adopted rate changes to fund essential repairs and upgrades to Denver Water’s system, beginning April 1, 2017. Monthly bills for a majority of Denver residents will increase by about $ 2.50 or less if they use water the same as they did in 2016.

There are 162 major projects identified in Denver Water’s capital plan, ranging from replacing aging pipes and failing underground storage tanks to upgrading water treatment facilities, warehouses and mechanical shops. These projects, in addition to Denver Water’s expenses associated with day-to-day operations and unplanned work, like water main breaks, are funded by water rates, bond sales, cash reserves, hydropower sales and fees for new service (called System Development Charges). 

“Denver Water is a regional water supplier, serving more than one-quarter of the state’s population,” said Penfield Tate, president of the Denver Board of Water Commissioners. “We are always going to need to retrofit, repair and replace parts of our system, much of which is more than 100 years old, to deliver a reliable water supply to our customers. We are committed to balancing the perspectives of our ratepayers, some of whom believe our rates are too low, and some who believe we need to help keep rates low.”

In 2016, the board adopted a new rate structure that shifts rate revenue from a heavy reliance on water use toward a more stable fixed fee. To continue that shift, the fixed monthly charge — which is tied to meter size — in 2017 is increasing by about $ 3 for a majority of residential customers. Most Denver Water customers have a 3/4-inch meter and will be charged $ 11.86 each month. To help offset the fixed monthly charge, the charge per 1,000 gallons for many customers will see a small decrease in 2017.

To keep water affordable, particularly for essential indoor water use, and to continue sending a conservation message, Denver Water’s rate structure includes a three-tiered charge for water use (called the volume rate). This structure ensures water used for drinking, cooking and sanitation is charged at the lowest rate, and water used for outdoor watering is charged at a higher price.

Individual water bills will depend on how much water a customer uses and whether the customer lives in Denver or is served by one of 66 suburban distributors under contract with Denver Water.

“Many distributors along with Denver Water are faced with the need to upgrade and replace critical infrastructure and meet increasingly stringent water quality regulations,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, chairman of the Denver Water Distributors Rates and Fees Technical Advisory Committee. “Distributors recognize and support the need to provide adequate revenue in a reliable and consistent manner, and we support the move to increase the amount of funding generated from the fixed service fee, as well as the modest increase in 2017 water rates.” 

The Denver City Charter requires that suburban customers pay the full cost of service, plus an additional amount. Learn more about how this works: Why Denver water costs more in the ‘burbs.

Denver Water operates and maintains more than 3,000 miles of distribution pipe — enough to stretch from Los Angeles to New York — as well as 20 dams, 22 pump stations, 30 underground storage tanks, four treatment plants and more. The water provider’s collection system covers more than 4,000 square miles and operates facilities in 12 counties in Colorado. 

Get more details and watch a video about the upcoming capital projects: Your water bill is going up (slightly) Here’s why

Customers will see more information about 2017 rates on their bills and on Denver Water’s website over the next few months.


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North Denver Tribune

What Is the Cost of Apartment Rent in Denver? A Breakdown of Rates in the 4 Best Big Suburbs

            There are four suburbs of Denver that have at least 100,000 residents, are less than 15 miles from the capital, and are cool enough to make this list. The average apartment rent for each city ranges from $  841 per month in Aurora to $  953 per month in Thornton, here's the list:

Aurora, CO – population: 323,348, apartment rent: $ 841, distance: 9.1 miles

This “suburb” is practically a big city all of its own, however, it does lack a strong downtown business district like most cities its size. The area is home to many historic landmarks, a history museum, an arts center, important wildlife habitats, several golf courses, over 1,800 acres of developed park land, and more than 6,000 acres of other natural areas.

Lakewood, CO – population: 141,937, apartment rent: $ 866, distance: 7.4 miles

Southwest of Downtown Denver, this community is the jumping-off point for many natural attractions and is near Red Rocks Amphitheater, Deer Creek Canyon Park, Genesee Park, and Evergreen, CO. Home to the Belmar retail district, a town center with a mix of retail, residential, cultural, and public space, the city has a great arts district and a prestigious fine art photography school.

Westminster, CO – population: 109,180, apartment rent: $ 928, distance: 9.5 miles

Northwest of Denver, this community is wonderful. Westminster features great shopping and the beautiful Butterfly Pavilion with 1,600 free-flying butterflies. The city has a clean feel and is quite progressive. Westminster is home to Westminster University which is known as “the Princeton of the West” and looks like a giant castle. The malls here are nice and include the Westminster Mall and Orchard Town Center. Orchard is an outdoor lifestyle center mall oriented toward upscale consumers.

Thornton, CO – population: 117,628, apartment rent: $ 953, distance: 10.6 miles

This northern suburb is Denver’s first master-planned community. With over 80 miles of trails, 80 parks, and nearly 2,000 acres of open space, Thornton is an outdoor-lover’s paradise. Don’t move here unless you love the outdoors because they’re everywhere. The city also has a great recreational center, a community center, and golf courses. Shopping here is quite nice and my favorite outdoor shopping center in the area is Larkridge, complete with a performing arts center.

So, if you’re coming to Denver, but don’t want to live right in the city, take a look at these suburbs, they’re quite nice. Average rent here is higher than rent in Denver for a reason: these communities are simply superior (but don’t tell Denver I said that).

Need help finding an apartment near Denver?

Call my office and one of my staff members will help you out. My toll-free number is 877-676-1767.

To learn more about apartments for rent in Denver, visit Rent in Denver.

Daniel E. Fava is a real estate writer. Check out his blog at

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