Keeping Clear Creek Clean…Many communities, including Golden, depend on Clear Creek as their drinking water source.

Many tributaries of the eastern slope converge to create Clear Creek. As it leaves Clear Creek Canyon it passes through our city and travels onward to join the waters of the South Platte River. It is a vital part of one of Colorado’s major watersheds. Many communities, including Golden, depend on Clear Creek as their drinking water source. Its waters have sustained communities along its banks for many years. Golden’s historic water rights date back to the 1800’s and were secured for Golden by those with the foresight to plan for the future. Now we must plan for the future. It is the responsibility of all of us who enjoy the benefits of Clear Creek to help maintain its integrity and natural beauty. If we do so, it will continue to provide our drinking water supply, as well as our agricultural, industrial and recreational needs for generations to come.
Do you know how these two facts are related?

Golden’s drinking water is made from the surface waters of Clear Creek.
There are 2 separate sewer systems in the City of Golden.
STORM SEWER The storm sewer system collects urban runoff from rain, snow melt, lawn watering and car washing. Water is transported down gutters and into storm drain inlets that take it directly back into Clear Creek without any treatment. Care must be taken to ensure that storm water runoff does not degrade the quality of Clear Creek. Any contaminants that enter the creek compromise the quality of your drinking water.
SANITARY SEWER The sanitary sewer system transports wastewater from residential, commercial and industrial sources to the wastewater treatment facility located north of the Coors Brewing Complex. There the wastewater is treated until it is clean enough to discharge back into Clear Creek. Most wastewater treatment plants cannot fully treat difficult chemicals like strong household cleaners or solvents. Never pour them down the drain. Save these products for recycling at the local household chemical collection center.

PROBLEM One pint of used motor oil can expand over the surface of an acre of water. Oil dumped into gutters or on the ground can find its way into Clear Creek.
SOLUTION Do not use waste oil or diesel fuel for weed or dust control on your property. Use proper containers if you change your oil at home. Ask your local county extension agent for better alternatives.
PROBLEM One gallon of gasoline can contaminate 750,000 gallons of water.
SOLUTION Store gasoline in approved containers. Don’t allow vehicles to leak oil, gasoline or other fluids onto driveways and streets. Do not put gasoline down the sanitary sewer. It could cause a fire or an explosion.
PROBLEM Used antifreeze contains heavy metals and is very poisonous.
SOLUTION Store antifreeze in closed containers and recycle or dispose of it properly. Never pour it down storm drains or into the sanitary sewer.
PROBLEM Paints contain chemicals that can harm the environment and human health if disposed of improperly.
SOLUTION Remove as much latex paint from brushes and containers as possible with rags or paper towels. Latex paint rinse water can go into the sanitary sewer but should be kept to a minimum. Never dispose of any paints or finishes in the sink or in the storm drain. Buy only as much as you need and recycle usable paint products.
PROBLEM Grass clippings, leaf litter and trash can plug storm drains and endanger fish and other wildlife along Clear Creek.
SOLUTION Dispose of trash properly and compost organic materials.
PROBLEM Excess fertilizer that is not absorbed by your lawn or garden can wash off and enter Clear Creek.
SOLUTION Herbicides and pesticides should always be used according to directions. More is not better. Use beneficial insects to control pests, compost to enrich soil and use other environmentally safe alternatives.

For more information and an appointment to properly dispose of solvents and other household chemicals call the Household Chemical Collection Center Appointment Hotline at: 303.316.6262
For answers to landscape and gardening questions call the Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service at: 303.271.6620
Remember…Clear Creek begins in your backyard

The City of Golden was one of the first in the country to implement a storm drain identification program. These distinct markers are attached to the sidewalks next to some of the storm drains in the more central parts of town and other high profile areas. The program was designed to increase public awareness regarding the City’s storm drain system and its direct connection to Clear Creek.

Water Quality in Colorado

Look for these markers around town and remember… your drinking water source, or someone else’s, is at the
other end of the storm drain.


This brochure was produced and permission to use by

The City of Golden

Environmental Services Division

We are located at 104 N. Rubey Drive in Golden, Colorado (off of Highway 93 and Iowa Drive). Click here for a map.

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