Privately Owned Wells Contain Arsenic in Some Areas of Colorado

Many privately owned water supplies are unregulated. This can lead to issues with contamination. A recent study in Delta County, Colorado revealed high levels of arsenic in thousands of citizens’ drinking water. According to the Delta County Health Department (DCHD) and it’s director Ken Nordstrom, around 36,000 people, or 60% of the population, in Delta County drink water from private wells that aren’t regulated because they’re privately owned. 

The University of Colorado Boulder collaborated with the DCHD for this study. The University affirmed, “Of the 457 wells analyzed in the survey, 11% have arsenic concentrations exceeding the Colorado primary drinking water standard maximum contaminant level.” 

The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry studied the effects of arsenic on the human body. This study explains: 

  • Arsenic can cause serious effects of the neurologic, respiratory, hematologic, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and other systems.
  • Arsenic is a carcinogen in multiple organ systems.
  • Interindividual and population differences in arsenic methylation and nutritional status may be factors in susceptibility to arsenic toxicity.

This interactive map covers the areas that contain unregulated wells in Delta County, Colorado and offers a free well water test.