You are here: home   Issues   Toxic Past, Toxic Present   There's always something in the water
Topic: Culture & Communities     Department: Letters

There's always something in the water

Document Actions

Hal Walter's recent Writers on the Range essay "There's Something in the Water" (HCN, 11/8/10) highlights a concern shared by every water-quality professional in the Rocky Mountain West: the presumption of safety. As a member of the Colorado Water Quality Association Board of Directors and a certified water specialist, I can unequivocally state that few wells in our area are of such high quality that they would not require, or at least benefit from, some form of filtration or disinfection.

There is no "pure" water in nature. Water is the universal solvent, dissolving over time almost everything it comes in contact with. Many of these contaminants, such as lead, radium, arsenic and fluoride, can pose serious health risks. Others, such as iron and calcium, can create aesthetic and mechanical problems in household plumbing. Many Rocky Mountain water wells can contain dissolved gases, including radon, methane and hydrogen sulfide. Even volatile organic compounds such as pesticides and herbicides can be present. Water is also the perfect breeding ground for many biological pathogens. All of these contaminants can be removed; many, like lead, at a relatively low cost. But it is each well owner's individual responsibility.

Over the centuries, the science of water chemistry has discovered many different methods of filtration and disinfection -- none of which is a universal solution. One can only recommend that well owners begin by contacting a local Water Quality Association member; in Colorado at www.cwqa.org, or elsewhere in the West at www.wqa.org.

David Gnaizda
Gardner, Colorado

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. Why I am a Tea Party member |
  3. The privatization of public campground management | All the info you need to decide whether you love o...
  4. The Latest: Interior commits to restoring bison on select lands | The “odd ungulate out” gets a tentative win.
  5. Efficiency lessons from Germany |
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. A graceful gazelle becomes a pest | Inrroducing an African gazelle called the oryx for...
  3. What's killing the Yukon's salmon? | An ecological mystery in Alaska has scientists and...
  4. Plains sense | Ten years after Frank and Deborah Popper first pro...
  5. North Dakota wrestles with radioactive oilfield waste | Regulators look at raising the limit for radiation...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
More from Culture & Communities
The virtues of old-school car camping Backwoods adventure isn't the only way to develop an affinity for the outdoors.
Gear companies go local A new crop of manufacturers try to succeed without selling out.
Our reliance on drones to patrol the borders
All Culture & Communities
 
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone