All of South Adams County Water

Ennis Water Softening Facility

The Ennis Water Softening Facility became operational in March 2021.The softening of the District's water has reduced scaling and created energy savings for our customers. The District is asking customers with in home treatment systems to re-calibrate their units to an incoming hardness level of seven grains per gallon (7 gpg).  

Why does the District have hard water?

The District water supply is mainly composed of groundwater from shallow alluvial aquifers. These aquifers expose water to natural underground calcium and magnesium deposits resulting in a increase in water hardness.

Water Hardness Levels:

The Ennis Water Softening Facility treats the water to a hardness of 7 gpg (115 mg/L).

Water Softening Project Fee: 

Single Family Residential Service  ERU's Per Service Water Softening Fee
 5/8 inch 1 $4.09

Commercial customers can determine the Water Softening Fee for their account by multiplying the number of ERUs for their account, based on the size of their potable water service shown on their water bill, by the Water Softening Fee base, which for 2023 is $4.09. Please see the following table for ERU’s per service size.

Non-Residential Service ERU's Per Service Water Softening Fee
 3/4 inch  2  $8.18
 1 inch  4.8  $19.63
 1.5 inch   11  $44.99
 2 inch  20  $81.80
 3 inch  43  $175.87
 4 inch  86  $351.74

Irrigation Water/ Landscape Information:

Residents who receive irrigation water from the separate irrigation system should continue to use the system. The separate irrigation system will not receive softened water.

The District has been following research done by Colorado State University (CSU) agricultural extension on the effects on landscaping from the softened water. CSU agricultural extension office recommends the sodium absorption ratio (SAR) stay below 10 to not have adverse effects on outdoor landscaping.  The projected sodium absorption ratio (SAR) for the softened potable water is anticipated to be below 4 once the system is fully operational.  The current SAR is approximately 2 therefore we expect there will not be any negative effects to landscapes from the softened water.

The softened water will have slightly raised levels of sodium. As far as the effect on house plants, higher sodium levels will only have the potential to affect indoor plants if they are planted in clay soil. It is not common practice to plant indoor plants in clay soil, but rather well draining potting soil, therefore there will be no effect on indoor plants. 

Sodium Levels:

The sodium levels of the District water will be slightly increased from the centralized softening system. The sodium levels will not rise to the levels of a traditional water softener. For residents on a low sodium diet the District does not expect the softened water to go above the EPA recommendation for sodium to not exceed 20 mg/L.  

Softeners and In-Home Treatment

The addition of the Ennis Water Softening Facility has reduced the water hardness to a level of 7 grains per gallon (gpg). If you have a in-home treatment system please set your system to the 7 gpg level of treatment.

The District recognizes personal preferences for water hardness vary greatly. If lowering hardness is desired, it can be managed by installing a residential water softening system. There are various types of residential softening systems including whole house, and under sink varieties. Softening of water used for outdoor irrigation is not efficient or recommended. Different types of softening systems include salt-based ion exchange systems or reverse osmosis (RO) systems. Due to the sodium or potassium addition that occurs when using a salt-based system, individuals on a sodium-restricted diet may want to seek the advice of their physician prior to using this type of system.

The water sent to your home or business meets all CDPHE and EPA drinking water rules and regulations. If you choose to install a softening system or other point of use treatment in your home, please follow the recommendations below.

  • Make sure you do your research or talk to a knowledgeable and reputable dealer. Different devices include softeners, carbon absorption systems, particulate filters, and reverse osmosis systems. These technologies are designed to treat for different things so make sure you get the right system for the concerns you have. While there are companies out there offering magnetic, sonic, or catalytic softening devices their claims have not been verified by reliable scientific study.
  • Know what you are doing or hire a qualified professional to do the work. Softener and treatment systems installed by a plumber will need to have a permit issued by the Commerce City Building department. Proper installation will ensure the system is safe and any hazards such as contamination due to drain-line backflow or cross connections are avoided. 
  • Follow all manufacturer’s instructions for proper maintenance and use. Filters become depleted, cartridges need changing, and resins need regenerated. Proper maintenance will ensure your system is doing what it is intended to do.
  • Make sure the unit you purchase is tested and validated against accepted standards such as those of the National Science Foundation (NSF), Water Quality Association, or Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
South Adams County Water and Sanitation District does not recommend, endorse, or favor any specific company, product, or softening device. If you are considering purchasing a water softener, we recommend you research the issues and shop around.  Please contact a qualified plumber if you have questions on softener installation in your home. If you are having a system installed by a plumber or softener distributor, make sure they obtain a permit from Commerce City before beginning work.

For comments or more information, please contact the District at 303.288.2646.