Lines, Hydrants & Meters

Transporting water from the stream to the treatment plants to your home requires teamwork by a skilled utility staff. Water Supply, Plant Maintenance, Meter Maintenance, Meter Reading, and Water Distribution employees work together for one common goal - to provide the residents of Thornton with quality water every day.

Tips and Tricks for Frozen Pipes [PDF/201KB]

Did you know?

Employee working on meter upgrades.

The city is replacing 25,000 residential water meters with meters compatible with Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) technology. The replacement meters will track hourly water usage data instead of monthly data. This means the city—and water customers—will be able to detect water leaks and other high-water issues much sooner than in the past. 


Thornton has over 5,200 hydrants. The City's Hydrant Flushing Program is conducted once per year and cleans the entire waterline system to improve water quality. The program also ensures the proper operation of each fire hydrant.

Five employees working on a water break repair.

Water Distribution

The Water Distribution staff maintains 623 miles of water lines and related facilities, such as fire hydrants, valves, and water taps. They also respond to customer calls for water breaks and water pressure problems. If you experience problems with pressure or need to report a water break, please call 720-977-6500.

Four employees working on a meter setter repair.

Meter Maintenance

Meter Maintenance and Meter Reading personnel provide all services for water meters. Meter readings are obtained using electronic devices and transferred into the billing system. New meter pit inspections and installations are provided for new homes and businesses before occupancy. These requests are scheduled through Utility Billing to ensure all applicable fees are paid. You can contact Utility Billing at 303-538-7370 if you have questions about the new service or changes in your existing service.

Man working on some mechanical welding.

Water Supply and Water Plant Maintenance

The Water Supply and Water Plant Maintenance staff works together to maintain 63 miles of supply ditches and 11 reservoirs. Continuous monitoring of 16 pump stations, two water treatment plants, and 9 potable water storage tanks ensures utility customers uninterrupted water service.

If you have any questions or concerns about Thornton water infrastructure, email us at or call Utilities Operations at 720-977-6500.

Important Numbers

  • Report a Water Break - 720-977-6500
  • After Hours Emergencies - 720-977-6500
  • Water Lines Maintenance - 720-977-6500

Advanced Metering Infrastructure Technology

Man placing a door tag on a door.

Thornton is upgrading 25,000 residential water meters over the next two years to be compatible with new water-smart, water-saving technology. Water meters measure all water used at home—indoors and outdoors. Thornton Water uses an Automated Meter Reading (AMR) drive-by system to collect monthly water usage data. The new meters will be compatible with new meter reading technology, Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), to track water usage data hourly instead of monthly. Other Advance Metering Infrastructure will be installed over the next few years. This means the city—and water customers—will be able to detect water leaks and other high-water issues much sooner than in the past, potentially mitigating severe damage. The quicker the city and customers are alerted to leaks or other high-water problems, the faster we can address them and prevent water from being wasted. Thornton is working hard to secure our water future, and AMI-compatible meters are part of this effort.

Water Meter Upgrades

Typically, the city replaces meters regularly as they age. A residential water meter lasts, on average, about 17 years. If a residential meter is due for an upgrade, city staff will install the new meter and hang a door hanger at the home to let the customer know the meter was replaced. If you don’t receive a door hanger, don’t worry; your meter is already compatible with newer technology.

  • Water rates will not increase due to meter upgrades. Thornton obtained a $1.5 million grant from the US Bureau of Reclamation to fund the purchase and installation of the meters.
  • There is no charge for the meter replacement.
  • There is no need to schedule an appointment.
  • Residents do not need to be home for the replacement.
  • Trained technicians will access the underground water meter via the meter pit that is already there. (It’s usually in the front yard near the sidewalk. No digging is required.)
  • During the replacement, water service will only be disrupted for a short time (less than an hour).
  • You may experience air in the water lines following a meter replacement. If you do, run the water from various faucets to allow the air to escape.

Tracking Water Usage

Sign up for the WaterSmart Customer Portal to track your household monthly usage.

For questions about the meter replacement program, call 720-977-6300 or 720-977-6500. 

Advanced Metering Infrastructure for Water FAQs