The nation’s largest wholesale water supplier is right here in Colorado

LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- The entire system of providing irrigation water and millions of people drinking water is managed in a lab in the Denver metro area.

The Bureau of Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the country. It is responsible for 492 dams which form 338 reservoirs in the western U.S. The water is diverted to farms, cities and is used for industrial uses.

The water is also used to generate hydro-power. The Bureau owns 53 powerplants that generate enough power for 3.8 million households.

The Colorado lab does it all.

From building models to show how dams work best, or how to best divert water in river systems without affecting the wildlife or ecosystems.

The engineers test the integrity of dams with simulated earthquake and use the strongest pressure-making machine in the country.

The finest details, down to the coating of the equipment, are tested at the lab at the Federal Center in Lakewood to keep us safe, and get the water where it needs to be.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.