Boulder County community warned drinking water could be contaminated

High levels of chemicals found in water
Posted at 10:27 PM, Jun 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-23 00:50:34-04

SUGAR LOAF, Colo. -- A Boulder County community has been warned their drinking water may be contaminated with high levels of chemicals.

Several water tests near the Sugar Loaf Fire Protection District station #1 and #2 found high levels of perflourinated chemicals (PFCs), often linked to firefighting foam.

Dan Grollman and his wife, Regina Windsor, love living up in the woods of Sugarloaf in Boulder County with their 1-year-old son Max, as it's just enough removed from city life. They even pump their water from a well on their property, which is pretty common in their small community.

"It's so incredibly beautiful here and peaceful and such a great neighborhood," said Windsor.

They're a little worried about the water though, after the Sugar Loaf Fire Protection District warned nearby neighborhoods their wells may be contaminated with PFC’s, in a letter sent home and also discussed during a public meeting.

"Just the health impact. We do have a 1-year-old child here," said Grollman.

This comes right after a Federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry study suggested new minimum risk levels for PFCs in water. The Environmental Protection Agency's current health advisory level is 70 parts per trillion. The wells contaminated near the fire stations in Sugarloaf tested above the limit.

The Boulder County Public Health Department hasn’t said how high, but is trying to figure out which private wells were impacted. Sugar Loaf fire officials conducted more than a dozen tests in the area, home to about 500 people, according to the Denver Post.

In a statement to Denver7, Boulder County Public Health spokeswoman Chana Goussetis said:

“We are partnering with the sugarloaf fire protection district to develop a sampling plan based on the geology of the area to determine private wells that are most likely to be impacted. We have recommended that residents have their well water tested for PFCs as well as heavy metals and bacteria, which is recently recommended annually for all well owners, particularly those living in mountain areas.”

For now, Dan and Regina will wait and see but they're not taking any chances.

"It's a 400-foot hole in the ground and we pump water into the cistern and we have a couple of filters in the house," said Grollman.

In a June 7 letter to residents, fire officials suggested residents test their private wells and included ways to remove PFCs such as installing a reverse osmosis filter system.