Distribution System

Storage Tanks

The stored water in the tanks on the hillside creates water pressure through elevation differences. The water flows out of the finished water storage tanks on the hillside by gravity into the distribution system. Underground pipes, or water mains, of different sizes, transport the water from the storage tanks to the houses and businesses in Cañon City and is available for fire protection. Distribution operators maintain approximately 150 miles of water main, 1,152 fire hydrants, and over 3,000 valves for the system. There are in the neighborhood of 9,000 meters on the service lines going into buildings that monitor everyone’s individual water use. Residents and businesses are then billed according to their water use. That means the more efficiently you use water, the less money you’ll have to pay on your bill!

Water Provider Responsibilities

A very important duty and responsibility that a water provider has are to keep the Water Distribution System safe from contamination. As a drinking water provider, the City of Cañon City is committed to protecting the Water Distribution system that supplies the City’s drinking water. To accomplish this compliance with the testing of backflow prevention assemblies is an important undertaking towards this protection. Backflow Prevention Assemblies protect the Water Distribution System from cross-connections.


A cross-connection is any connection between a potable (drinking) water supply system and any source of non-potable or non-drinkable liquid, solid, or gas. Under certain circumstances of unequal pressure, a non-drinkable substance could either be pulled or pushed into the drinking water supply. This is called backflow.


Backflow events can reverse the flow of water or other substances into the Water Distribution System, resulting in chemicals or contaminants getting into the drinking water. Because of changes in pressure, the water can flow in the opposite direction from what is intended. This is why the installation, inspection and proper maintenance of backflow prevention assemblies and devices are imperative to the safety of your drinking water.

Buried Sprinklers

One of the most common cross-connections is made when buried sprinkler systems for lawn irrigation are installed. Under the right conditions, lawn irrigation systems can backflow contaminated water into your drinking water. In order to prevent this, building codes require that these systems be protected with a backflow preventer. Therefore, you play an integral part in protecting your home plumbing system and the Water Distribution System. The City of Cañon City needs your assistance and values your cooperation in this effort. We require all water customers to install backflow preventers where needed and to have them tested on an annual basis. Backflow prevention assemblies must be tested by a Certified Cross Connection Control Technician.

Backflow Prevention Tests

If you are a certified backflow prevention tester please access the online Backflow Prevention Test Form or the paper Backflow Prevention Test Form (PDF). The paper form is a pdf fillable document. Online forms will be routed to the Water Distribution Department once you have submitted the form. If you have filled out the paper form, you can print it, scan it, and email backflow reporting or simply mail the completed form to:

Cañon City Water Department
1525 S 9th Street
Cañon City, CO 81212

Distribution System Finished Water Pumping & Storage

The distribution system has 4 finished water storage tanks that hold 10.5 million gallons (MG) of water for our customers' use. Combined with the finished water storage tanks at the water treatment plant hillside the City has 18.9 MG of storage for the system. There are 5 finished water pumping stations that are used to fill tanks and maintain water pressures in areas of town that cannot be served by gravity feed from the tanks on the water treatment plant hillside.


Free tours are available by appointment. Contact the Water Treatment Plant at 719.269.9019 for scheduling and directions.