Ground Water – Principle source of water in Colorado

Water, the elixir of life

Water Pollution and how to live with the same

Residents of Grand County, more often than not, have their only source of water from a well.

In order to ensure the safety of your family and livestock, it is essential to ensure this source of life-sustaining substance, water is safe and free from contaminants, which may endanger life, or else act as a slow poison.

You should always test the source of your water if you suspect a problem. Even otherwise it is advised to test annually for coliform bacteria, nitrates, dissolved solids, and pH levels. If you have a well that is located downhill or close to your septic system, it would be wise to test more often, especially after heavy rains.

In case the test results come with an “unsafe to drink” grade or if you feel the need to clean up your well because it’s been compromised, the water is less than clear, etc here are a few simple steps you can do yourself to ensure your water is safe for human consumption.

Eliminate or relocate any suspected contamination source. This may require re-aligning the ground around the well, moving livestock, etc. Disinfect the water supply by following the procedures laid down by the local authorities, ensuring that by cleaning up your own source you, accidentally do not endanger the sources of your neighbors and the community living around you, as also the flora and fauna.

Two days after you have disinfected your well, have a sample collected and tested by any trusted authority like the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment or your Local Health Department.

Temporary measures can be used should your water be contaminated: Rapidly boil the water for 10 minutes and/or add a 5% solution of household bleach.

Steven Smith