Archive for December, 2014

Resolve to conserve in 2015

2015 on snow at mountains
We all can take more steps to use water wisely. This year, make a resolution to conserve with these five easy steps:

  1. Look at the upper right corner of your bill. See that chart? That’s how much water you’re using on average per day. Each person in an average single-family house should use roughly 40 gallons inside per day. Aim for that number, or better yet, shoot for less!
  2. Rethink your fixtures. Some people think their 10-year-old toilet is efficient, when it probably isn’t. You can save on your water and sewer bill by replacing your toilets with an ultra-high-efficiency model. And as an added bonus, get a rebate for up to $150.
  3. Make a plan to modify part of your landscape. Winter is the perfect time to outline changes for your outside living area. Maybe your landscape could benefit from an efficient drip system, or maybe part of your Kentucky bluegrass could be replaced with low-water-use shrubs. Make those plans now so you’re ready for the upcoming spring planting season.
  4. If you see a spike in your water use, look for leaks. Ten percent of our customers have leaky toilets, faucets or other fixtures. Are you one of them?
  5. Talk about your water use. Maybe your neighbor has a landscape idea that would cut back on your water use. Maybe your friend found a leak in an unusual spot. Understanding how others conserve will help you too.

Find more water-saving tips at denverwater.org/conservation.

Nice ice!

skatingNice ice!

How the Colorado Avalanche turns Denver Water’s signature product into a pristine platform for the NHL’s swiftest skaters.

By Steve Snyder, with video by Jay Adams

It’s late in the second period of a Colorado Avalanche home game at Pepsi Center, and the Avalanche players are on the attack. They chase the puck behind their opponent’s net, gliding on a silvery surface as smooth as glass. Two players fight for a puck in the corner, skate blades grinding the ice, desperately maintaining balance.

Tony Kreusch is watching it all. But he’s not watching the players as much as the surface. Kreusch is the director of ice operations for the Avalanche, the man responsible for creating a world-class skating surface for the fastest game on ice.

“If we don’t do our job right, they can’t do their jobs,” Kreusch said.

Creating an ice rink to meet National Hockey League standards takes more than just pouring some water on the ground and watching it freeze. And Kreusch says even though the product Denver Water supplies as a foundation for ice making is quite good, it’s a part of a bigger equation.

 

“We can use the water we get straight from the tap when we need to, but we typically put it through one more filtration process, called reverse osmosis.” Kreusch said. “It gives us better clarity in the ice, and it allows the ice to bond together a bit better. That makes for a better skating, nicer-looking surface.”

An NHL rink consists of several layers, starting with a cement floor that is chilled to around 14 degrees by underground piping filled with refrigerated glycol. Water is then frozen in stages, including a layer with a paint-like substance that makes the ice look white. In all, a typical ice surface measures 1.25 inches thick.

On a typical game day, Kreusch and his crew can resurface the ice up to 10 times, using about 3,000 gallons of water each day. This is usually where the Zamboni comes in, the large, tractor-like vehicle that circles the ice, putting down a thin layer of water in the rink. If you look closely, you’ll notice an odd characteristic to that water.

IMG_8341“It’s actually heated to a temperature of 140 to 160 degrees,” Kreusch said. “Hot water flows better than cold, and putting down hot water allows ice to freeze without air bubbles. That gives us the smoothest surface possible.”

Kreusch monitors everything on a game day, from the temperature of the glycol, to the surface ice temps, to the temperature and humidity inside and outside the arena.

“Every time an arena door opens, it has the potential to change the equation of how we maintain the ice,” Kreusch said. “Temperature and humidity mean everything.”

Kreusch believes the players know and appreciate a good ice surface. After all, one bad spot on the ice could sideline a player who is making millions of dollars a year, not to mention jeopardizing the fortunes of a team trying to win a championship. To this, Kreusch says no news is good news.

“We normally don’t hear from the players when the ice is good, only when there is a problem. So if all is quiet, we know we’ve done our job well.”

Another satisfied Denver Water customer, even if our water is only the tip of the ice … berg, so to speak.

Take a fishing trip to learn how it’s all connected

Believe it or not, you may have skied on a snowflake or dropped a fishing line into a stream filled with water that is now coming out of your tap. Water connects all of us in many different ways. See how it’s all connected for Dave Bennett, a water resource manager at Denver Water:

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