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City of Brighton alerts residents of possible water contamination due to issue with backflow system

Mayor of Brighton calls it a 'misunderstanding'
Posted at 6:28 PM, Aug 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-24 00:44:19-04

BRIGHTON, Colo. – Brighton residents were told Friday they may want to find alternative water sources for their drinking water due to a mechanical issue with the city’s backflow system.

But an original letter from the State’s Department of Health alerted city officials of the issue nearly two months ago, on June 25, which has residents asking why it took so long for them to be notified of this potential health risk.

The letter states pregnant woman, children, the elderly and people with compromised immune system are specially at risk. It further states the backflow system issues won’t be fixed until November.

"We have been drinking water that is possibly contaminated while the city has been over-chlorinating us without telling us," Jeremy Torgerson. "This is a metro suburb of metro Denver with 41,000 people in it. They need to be able to know they can drink their water."

Friday’s water issues come amid an effort to recall the mayor for his handling of a controversial scandal regarding water overcharges.

Mayor Ken Kreutzer, who spoke with Denver7 on Friday afternoon, said the delay in alerting residents was due to a clerical error that the staff found and self-reported.

“The water is safe here in Brighton,” said Kreutzer. “If the water wasn’t safe here in Brighton, the Colorado Department of Health and Environment would be here, and we would have boil restrictions. We don’t have boil restrictions. If the water wasn’t safe in Brighton, they would be here and they’re not.”

Councilman Matt Johnston disagreed.

“It’s a lack of ability to do the job that the city needs to do, which is make our water safe with the money that they have accumulated over a ten-year span of over $70 million,” he said.

Johnston is part of the effort to recall the mayor. He says alerting residents to the water problem two months after the fact is inexcusable.