District News Articles

  2. In October the Platte Canyon Board of Directors signed a Mutual Aid and Assistance Agreement to join the Colorado Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (CoWARN).

    The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment working in cooperation with public and private water and wastewater utilities has formed the Colorado Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (CoWARN). CoWARN is a formalized system whose goal is designed to create a network of utilities that are prepared and willing to assist one another during emergency situations such as floods, tornados, terrorist attacks and even water breaks that overwhelm affected entities ability to respond to system and citizen needs. Its infrastructure includes a secure web-based event tracking system and a practical mutual aid agreement designed to reduce bureaucratic red tape. Participation in any response is voluntary, and membership in CoWARN does not obligate members to offer aid.

    The backbone of CoWARN is a Mutual Aid and Assistance Agreement (Agreement) that defines how requests for assistance should be made and how responding utilities will be reimbursed for costs if they provide assistance. The term of the Agreement is 20 years; however, any utility can withdraw by giving 60 days’ notice. Except for reimbursement of a responding utility’s costs, no financial commitment is required by the Agreement. Furthermore, execution of the Agreement does not create any duty to respond to a request for assistance by another utility; response to an emergency is completely voluntary.

    Recently, CoWARN provided valuable assistance during the recent Alamosa, Colorado water contamination incident. The communication network and organizational structure of CoWARN enabled a rapid and robust response upon Alamosa’s and the State’s call for assistance.

    CoWARN currently has 72 utility members, 11 non-utility members, and 37 signed mutual aid agreements including most of the largest water and wastewater service providers in the Denver Metropolitan Area.

    For more information on CoWARN, please visit their website located at