Clean Water Initiative

Photo Credit: Tom Rice Photography
TWC is serving as a lead voice for The Greenway Foundation on the issue of clean water for watershed health.

STORMWATER FILTRATION:  Our collaboration with the City and County of Denver and the makers of the Gutter Bin stormwater filtration device has resulted in the prevention of 5,000 lbs of pollutants from entering the South Platte River in Denver. Even though Denver appropriately prides itself on being a green city, the South Platte River and its tributaries are a default trash receptacle for our city due to a number of source challenges, including the thousands of stormwater pipes that release into these urban waterways. ​

One way that The Water Connection is tackling this issue is partnering with Frog Creek Partners for a pilot program for Gutter Bins in Denver. These devices sit in storm drain inlets and catch trash and debris as it washes off sidewalks and streets, and keep it out of our urban waterways.

The installation of stormwater filtration devices are gaining favor among private developers and other local municipalities.

Interested in supporting our efforts to clean stormwater?  Contact Devon Buckels at

During a 10-month pilot, the Nautilus passively collected trash along the north side of the Cherry Creek between Blake Street and Market Street. During the course of the pilot, the device collected: 195 plastic bags, 36 plastic bottles, 28 food wrappers, 25 Styrofoam pieces, 9 cups, 8 disposable gloves, and much more!

Nautilus was regularly serviced by the Mile High Flood District and ArborForce– thank you to both organizations for being such integral partners during this pilot process and for collecting valuable data about the device’s function. Other partners for this pilot include ClayDean Electric, Denver Parks and Recreation, and Naranjo Civil Constructors.

Plans for Nautilus 2 are being explored and partial funding has been secured to build a bigger and better trash collection device! 


CLEAN WATER CHALLENGE (formerly the Clean River Design Challenge):  TWC is excited for the next iteration of this challenge! This year we will be focusing on three pollutants: phosphorus, nitrogen, and E. coli. Teams of university students will be tasked with developing a solution to one (or more!) of these pollutants and crafting a high-level business plan to get their solution out into the community.  This competition will kick off in Fall 2021!  Check out this post for more information about the competition.

Looking to get involved in the Clean Water Challenge? Contact Devon Buckels at

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